Emerging Innovation Regions: Part 1
This research has identified government initiatives that are promoting the startup ecosystem in Jerusalem, Riyadh, Doha, Cape Town, and Haifa. Our research reveals that government support has played a crucial role in the emergence of these cities as innovation hubs. Details about these programs have been provided below.
- Jnext is an initiative that was "established as a joint-partnership between The Ministry of Jerusalem and Heritage and The Jerusalem Municipality, and is led by The Jerusalem Development Authority."
- The governmental initiative aims to develop and support the innovation ecosystem in Jerusalem. Jnext offers direct assistance to startup companies. It also fosters the entrepreneurial environment, thereby transforming Jerusalem into a city that is startup-friendly.
- Contact Details: Oded Barel Sabag and Dr. Shay Fleishon are listed as the contact persons for the Jnext program. Oded Barel Sabag, who is an executive director of the Jnext initiative, can be contacted via email@example.com; Dr. Shay Fleishon, who is an executive director of BioJerusalem, can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Smart Agriculture Workshop
- The Smart Agriculture Workshop is an initiative created by the Korea-Israel Industrial R&D Foundation (KORIL-RDF). The program "aims to promote industrial cooperation between Israeli companies and South Korean companies, as well as to encourage joint R&D activities and initiatives that will produce innovative technologies and products."
- On December 15, 2019, KORIL-RDF recently held its 37th Board of Directors' meeting in Jerusalem.
- Contact Details: In Isreal, the KORIL-RDF can be contacted through Adv. Shirley Refuah, the senior manager of Israel Innovation Authority. The phone number is +972-3-511-8170. E-mails can be sent to Deborah.Schabes@innovationisrael.org.il.
- Headquartered in Riyadh, the General Authority for Small and Medium Enterprises (Monshaat) was established in 2016. Monshaat's objective is to support, develop, and nurture the SME sector.
- Across the Kingdom, Monshaat supports innovation, facilitates business processes, enables growth, develops capacity, and creates suitable employment opportunities. In a bid to support SMEs and entrepreneurs, Monshaat launched a startup forum in Jeddah, as well as other events in Riyadh, Asir, Qassim, and Jeddah.
- Contact Details: Monshaat can be contacted via +966 9200-18888, email@example.com, and o.monshaat.gov.sa. While direct contact details are not available publicly, the profile of all members of Monshaat's management team is available here.
2. Misk 500 Accelerator Program
- The Misk 500 Accelerator Program was established through a partnership between Misk Innovation and 500 Startups. Misk Innovation is a branch of Misk Foundation — a non-profit founded by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The program aims to encourage entrepreneurship throughout the Kingdom.
- The first batch of the Misk 500 Accelerator Program held "in Riyadh saw 19 startups from across the MENA region pitch their ideas to an audience of more than 200 that included investors and corporations." Its second edition held in Riyadh in September 2019.
- Contact Details: Osama AlRaee is the director of entrepreneurship at Misk Innovation, however, all inquiries and questions regarding the Misk 500 program are to be sent via firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Qatar Smart Program (TASMU)
- The Qatar Smart Program (TASMU) is an initiative of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MOTC). This program is "a five-year $1.64 billion initiative launched in 2017 to develop Qatar’s ICT infrastructure and transform Doha into one of [the] most connected cities globally."
- TASMU "connects with different government entities, talks to tech companies about investments, works with research institutions to collaborate in innovation, and meets with local startups to ideate."
- Contact Details: Theodore Halabi is the contact person for Accenture, innovation partners of the TASMU program. Halabi can be contacted via +971 50 662 7053 and email@example.com. Direct contact details for TASMU executives are not available publicly, however, the MOTC can be reached via 16016 / +974 40451111, and firstname.lastname@example.org.
2. Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP)
- The QSTP is an initiative of Qatar Foundation which serves as "Qatar’s premier hub for applied research, technology innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship."
- Contact Details: Headquartered in Doha, the Qatar Science & Technology Park can be contacted via +974 4454 7070, +974 4454 7011. While contact details for executives are not available publicly, the QSTP can also be reached directly at email@example.com.
1. The Red Tape Reduction Unit
- The Red Tape Reduction Unit was created in 2011 to enable "businesses cut through or get around red tape." Its primary aim is to remove bureaucratic blockages and create an enabling environment for business in the Western Cape.
- Red tape reduction in the Western Cape has "created an ecosystem in which some of the world's largest tech companies have chosen to invest". The initiative has also created "opportunities for exciting young start-ups."
- Contact Details: While direct contact information for persons in charge of this program is not available, the Red Tape team can be reached by filling out this contact form. They can also be reached via 0861888126 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional contact details can be found here.
- JUMP is an initiative created by the Western Cape Government in collaboration with Google and other stakeholders. The digital business support platform was established "to enable entrepreneurs to better their business and access opportunities."
- While no information regarding the specific team responsible for the JUMP program, the Western Cape Government has provided this contact form for any inquiries and assistance.
1. ‘New Campus’ Vision
- Israel’s ‘New Campus’ vision is the flagship program of the Council for Higher Education (CHE). It is a six-year plan aimed at creating "the modern 21st-century campus, which encourages digital learning, a more diverse student body, openness and entrepreneurship, and greater internationalization."
- The Council for Higher Education, through its 'New Campus' program, set up a competition that awarded Technion with $2.7 million to set up an entrepreneurship hub on its campus in Haifa.
- Prof. Peretz Lavie, the university's president, said the creation of the Technion Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center, t-hub, "will take the entrepreneurial culture on campus to new heights."
- Contact Details: The New Campus program was launched by Prof. Yaffa Zilbershats, who is the head of Israel’s Council for Higher Education’s planning and budget committee. While direct contact information for Zilbershats or any other member of her team is not available publicly, The CHE can be contacted via +972 2 567 99 11 and email@example.com.
2. Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) Grants
- The Israel Innovation Authority (IIA) is responsible for Israel's innovation policy. It "is an independent and impartial public entity that operates for the benefit of the Israeli innovation ecosystem and Israeli economy as a whole."
- Recently, the IIA revealed that the ILAB Group had emerged as the winner of its competitive tender aimed at developing technological innovation in Haifa. To strengthen Haifa's entrepreneurial community, the ILAB group will create acceleration programs and dedicated workspaces to support 150 start-ups.
- For international collaborations, the IIA can be reached via Ms Racheli Ben On (RacheliBo@innovationisrael.org.il, +972-3-5118117) and Ms Ella Heller (Ella.Heller@innovationisrael.org.il, +972-3-5118143).