Green Innovation Days co-organized by NEX-LABS in Lebanon: 3 intense days to discuss a circular future
The NEX-LABS partner Berytech organized the Green Innovation Days 2022 #GrID2022 on October 11, 12, and 13 at Le Royal Hotel, Dbayeh, funded by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Beirut and the ENI CBC MED.
The 3-day event attracted 1300+ guests from Lebanon and the region, including professionals, entrepreneurs, researchers, innovators, students, engineers, support organizations, and investors. It offered a condensed schedule of more than 35+ activities including discussion panels, keynote speakers, chats, match-making sessions, and demo sessions with more than 40 guest speakers diving into topics in innovation, circularity, and sustainability.
Moving Towards A Circular Economy
In his opening notes, Maroun N. Chammas, Chairman & CEO of Berytech pointed that: “We are here to prioritize the importance of innovation. Because it is only through innovation that we are going to get to our goals. The scientists, innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, that the Green Innovation Days bring together are central to innovation. They are central to moving towards an economy that gives more to the planet than it takes away. Last year, Berytech supported 690 startups and SMEs, 41% of them innovating in clean technology across multiple sectors. We worked together with our partners, who are here in the Green Innovations Days 2022, to be able to develop and implement these programs that accelerate our transition to a circular economy.”
“The Green Innovation Days offer entrepreneurs the right environment for the creation and development of start-ups and SMEs. This environment stimulates innovation, fosters an entrepreneurial community, and supports the Lebanese economy through job creation and retaining talents in Lebanon. The Green Innovation Days put Lebanon on the map as a potential knowledge gateway to the Levant. A market with potential, with talented innovators, trying to solve the problems of Lebanon today and of the Lebanon of tomorrow,” said H.E. Hans Peter Van Woude, Ambassador of the Kingdom of Netherlands to Lebanon.
In her turn Alessia Squarcella, Deputy Head of Cooperation for the EU Delegation to Lebanon discussed the work that the European Union has been doing in Lebanon: “It’s a pleasure to see our support coming to life but even more so when it takes the form of an event such as this one that enables actors in private and public sectors to come together to meet, exchange and create a critical mass of green innovators to enable positive changes on a larger scale. This positive change is what we as the EU have been trying to promote in Lebanon for years and even more so right now. It is needless to say that the crisis in Lebanon is horrible but at the same time we have to recognize that it is a strong catalyst for finding innovative solutions for the several issues that the country is facing.”
“The ENI CBC MED is working in innovation, technology transfer, startup, SME development, and climate change and we consider innovation and the green economy as the engine of the development of the Mediterranean area. Startups and the green innovation ecosystem have the potential to produce jobs and enhance economic growth and protect our planet,” explained Khaled Elsaadany, Innovation and Technology Transfer Expert for the ENI CBC MED Programme.
Putting Innovation In The Forefront
The exhibition hosted 10 programs and organizations working to provide support to green innovators and 50+ companies with innovations in transportation, energy, food, fashion, and waste management.
To multiply the impact of the work exhibited by the startups in #GrID2022, Berytech organized 75+ matchmaking sessions connecting founders with investors, experts, and professionals in one-on-one meetings to discuss potential investments, and collaborations and provide valuable knowledge and experience.
The startups who are part of the Stand Up! Project, PHEMAC, NEX-LABS, and GIMED programs also had the chance to showcase their innovative products and business models in multiple dedicated activities. The Cleanergy Accelerator organized an impressive Demo Session allowing its 6 finalists to pitch their solutions for the very first time to the public.
Highlights And Announcements
“We believe in partnerships; we also believe that the country needs a lot of organizations like Al Majmoua and Berytech to work together. Each one of us has a role to play and with that, we can make a difference. With solid partners like Al Majmoua and the impact that they are doing on the ground and with the effort we are doing at Berytech in supporting entrepreneurs, we hope to be able to give people access to financing and to technology that could improve their livelihoods could take us and take Lebanon one step forward.” With that Ramy Boujawdeh, COO of Berytech, took the #GrID2022 stage to announce the partnership for micro-credits between Berytech and Al Majmoua, a non-governmental organization leading the largest micro-finance institution in Lebanon.
Rabih El Chaar, co-founder and CEO of Nadeera, a social enterprise and a graduate of the Berytech Cleanergy program, also took the stage to announce its contribution to the Berytech Foundation with a sum of 15,000 USD. “This contribution is very important to us because this is where we started. We very much understand the value that Berytech brings, we believe in it and we are very proud that we are here giving back to the Berytech Community,” confirmed Rabih in his speech.
As the event wraps up, learnings from #GrID2022 will be released on Berytech’s website and social channels. Click here to remain updated!
Article by: Josette Noujaim
Image courtesy: Berytech