Excellencies, Honorable Guests, Distinguished Delegates, Colleagues, Ladies and Gentleman
As the Vice President for Science and Technology, I want to thank all colleagues from Vice Presidency for Science and Technology of IR Iran and United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) who organized the first Asia Pacific Innovation Forum (APIF) to be held on June 10-12 2019 in Tehran.
Especially I want to welcome all honored participants who joined this event which is the first of its kind.
At the outset, I would like to answer shortly to these three questions: how Innovation is important for Asia Pacific countries today? why does my country host this Forum? and finally, what are the expected outcomes?
Knowledge and technology are centered at the heart of the efforts to confront intertwined global and regional challenges such as poverty, health, food and water. It is necessary to revise these issues with a comprehensive look at innovation, using the diverse and distributed capacities of institutions, beliefs and social interactions of societies as well as new technologies in order to design new solutions.
Today, the innovation concept has become more social and cultural in nature and the expectations from science, technology and innovation have been shifted to improve the lives of people rather than merely focus on the economic profits. This new vision towards innovation can be improved with the assistance and contribution of developing countries. Creating synergy from Asian Pacific countries’ views and experiences is essential for the regional and global sustainable development.
IR Iran is now witnessing the third wave of science and technology development in its national policies with focus on the role of the innovation development ecosystem in the country. Our innovation ecosystem has become so lively and dynamic today due to the presence of many innovative startups. A large number of innovation centers, venture capital funds, hi-tech and creative startups that have been developed beyond the economic areas in major cities to the economic and social areas in small and medium-sized cities are considered as the results of this innovation wave in Iran.
In recent years, Iran has initiated several innovation and technology initiatives among Asian, Muslim and developing countries, namely The Technology Transfer and Exchange Network (TTEN) among the 8 developing countries (D8) and the Mustafa Science and Technology Prize as an excellent symbol of science and technology for Muslim scholars. Asia-Pacific Innovation Forum (APIF) is the latest one which is hold jointly with (ESCAP) by the presence of ministers and high-ranking science and technology representatives from near 62 ESCAP countries and 20 international organizations.
The key outcomes of APIF are expected to be first as a declaration to support technology start-ups for sustainable development. Second, we hope the Asia-Pacific Technology Start-ups Network to be launched successfully at this Forum. Third, we hope this event provide a sound ground for partnership and collaboration between enterprises, institutions and startups of the countries from across the region.
Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to all participants for bringing their expertise to this gathering and I hope proposed sessions will be successful in opening channels for sharing knowledge between different regional partners and forming synergies for further steps.
1st Asia Pacific Innovation Forum 2019
11th, 12th June
Center for International Science and Technology Cooperation (CISTC), No.28, Attar Sq.,Valiasr St.