TEHRAN – The International Association of Science Parks (IASP) has chosen Iran as the head of the West Asia and North Africa subdivision, IRNA reported on Sunday.
Amin Reza Khaleqian, director general of communications and international affairs of Pardis Technology Park, was elected by a majority of votes as the representative of this region in the IASP for the next 2 years.
IASP is the worldwide network of science parks, innovation districts, and other areas of innovation. With members in over 70 countries, it connects the professionals managing innovation ecosystems worldwide and provides services that drive their growth, knowledge sharing, and internationalization.
Founded in 1984, the International Association of Science Parks and Innovation Areas is currently headquartered in Malaga, Spain.
The association has six sub-branches including Africa, Asia Pacific, Eurasia, Latin America, Europe, and North America.
Iran is present in West Asia and North Africa with 350 members and 115,000 technology companies in 75 countries.
According to the Iran Entrepreneurship Association, there are forty-four parks of science and technology, twenty-one of which are located in Tehran.
Over the last eight years, the creation of 13 science and technology parks, 4,553 technology units, and 1,653 new knowledge-based companies could provide employment for 34,707 university graduates.
Revenue from sales of technological products of companies located in science and technology parks in 2020 was close to 137 billion rials (nearly $3.2 million at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which compared to 4.6 billion rials (about $152,000) in 2013, shows the growth of 2883 percent.
This issue was quite evident in the export sector of these companies so that the export of knowledge-based products was equal to $1.14 million, but this amount increased to $63.2 million in 2018, while reached $98 million in 2020, despite the very harsh sanctions imposed on the country.
Technological achievements of Iran
Despite sanctions putting pressure on the country, a unique opportunity was provided for business development and the activity of knowledge-based companies in the country.
Currently, some 6,000 knowledge-based companies are active in the country, manufacturing diverse products to meet the needs of the domestic market while saving large amounts of foreign currency.
The fields of aircraft maintenance, steel, pharmaceuticals, and medical equipment, oil, and gas are among the sectors that researchers in technology companies have engaged in, leading to import reduction.
In recent years, the vice presidency for science and technology has been supporting knowledge-based companies active in the production of sanctioned items.
Iran also implemented a plan to return Iranian elites from the top 100 universities in the world, through the national model, the facilities are provided for their return, by creating technology parks, innovation centers, and factories.
The plan was able to bring back 2,000 Iranian students from the top 100 universities in the world over a three-year period, amounting to 600 people a year.
Fortunately, last year, companies achieved a record sale of 1.2 quadrillion rials (nearly $28.5 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials), which is expected to increase by 40 percent this year.