The Cooperation Between ICT Park and the National Agency of Algerian Technology Parks was Discussed
This preliminary meeting was held with the aim of evaluating the common fields of cooperation and the feasibility of signing a cooperation memorandum between the Information and Communication Technology Park (ICT Park) and the National Agency for Promotion and Development of Algerian Technology Parks, with the presence of Dr. Abbas Ghanbari Baghestan, advisor to ICT Park’s communications and international affairs; Seyyed Ahmad Ben Arbia, Head of the National Agency for promotion and development of Algerian Technology Parks; Ms. Vasila Knatov, Director of entrepreneurship and training at the growth center of the National Agency for Promotion and Development of Algerian Technology Parks; Mr. Qasem Taqvaeipour, the economic expert of the Iranian Embassy in Algeria, and Mr. Saeed Mosaffa, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Iran.
At the start of the meeting, Ms. Vasila Kontav, Director of entrepreneurship and training at the Growth Center of the National Agency for promotion and development of Algerian Technology Parks, introduced the National Agency for the Algerian Technology Parks and said: “The main goal of this agency is the development and expansion of technology Parks and growth centers throughout Algeria, one of which is Sayyedi Abdallah Science and Technology Park. The activities of Sayyedi Abdallah Growth Centers are mainly focused on the field of ICT and digitalization in which Algerian SMEs and startups are used for further and mutual cooperation.”
The Director of entrepreneurship and training at the growth center of the National Agency for promotion and development of Algerian Technology Parks also stated that: “in the growth centers, project owners and startups, active in the field of information and communication technology, are incubated and therefore provided with space and necessary training. Also, in the field of networking, they are encouraged to communicate with each other and gain access to facilities required to develop their startup. There is also a business center in Sidi Abdallah, which includes large digital companies. This Park cooperates with different companies and institutions all over Algeria in different fields. Regarding Sayyedi Abdallah Growth Center, Ms. Vasila Kontav said: This growth center, which started its activities in 2020, provides all its services online and free of charge to startups all over Algeria due to the prevalence of Covid 19. The center further cooperates with experts from other countries, including Russia and America. For the development of virtual incubation, this center uses various online education platforms. The startups supported by this growth center operate in various fields such as digitalization, e-learning, e-health, the Internet of Things, e-commerce, artificial intelligence, and virtual reality.
As the meeting continued, Dr. Abbas Ghanbari Baghestan, advisor to ICT Park's communications and International Affairs, while welcoming the Algerian side, introduced ICT Park and stated that ICT Park was established by the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology and also has a license from the Ministry of Science, Research and Technology to operate in the field of information and communication technology. This park was established in 2017 as the first science and technology park in the field of ICT in Iran, and the President of ICT Park has more than 30 years of experience in the field of science and technology Parks.
Advisor to ICT Park's communications and International Affairs also gave a detailed report on the Park's activities, including the number of branches, the number of companies, the number of Park’s products, etc., and the areas and potential capacities for cooperation at the regional and international level.
Dr. Ghanbari stated that the main goal of ICT Park is to support innovative and technology-based businesses active in the field of information and communication technology and added that currently, more than 60 companies are working in ICT Park.
Referring to the potential possibilities and measures taken in the internationalization of ICT Park, he pointed out that since last year, ICT Park has always focused on the internationalization of activities and has negotiated with several countries, including Mali, Ghana, Senegal, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Russia, which are mainly located in the African region. In this regard, last month, the Information and Communication Technology Park signed a cooperation memorandum with Al-Ghazaleh Technopark in Tunisia.
Among the suggested fields, Dr. Abbas Ghanbari Baghistan mentioned the following areas: sharing policies and technologies in the field of ICT, holding joint events including seminars, educational workshops in the field of ICT, participating in conferences and events organized by the other side, cooperating in the fields of research and development of both sides and carrying out joint research projects, providing training programs according to the request of the other side, facilitating direct cooperation between companies and growth centers of both countries, transferring experiences and teachings in the contexts of setting up science and technology parks and park management and supporting the establishment of knowledge-based companies in science and technology parks in both countries.
In addition, Mr. Seyyed Ahmad Ben Arbia, Head of National Agency for the Promotion and Development of Algerian Technology Parks, while expressing his satisfaction with negotiations held between the two countries, welcomed the proposal of Dr. Abbas Ghanbari regarding the provision of educational and specialized programs by ICT Park to the Algerian technology Parks.
The Head of the National Agency for promotion and development of Algerian Technology Parks stated that currently, the main branch of Algerian Technology Park is set in the city of Algiers, which has 3 active projects. Other Algerian Science and Technology Parks were built in the cities of Oran, Quargla, and Annaba, all of which operate under the supervision of this Agency.
Finally, while welcoming Dr. Ghanbari Baghstan's invitation to visit ICT Park, Mr. Ahmad Seyyed Ben Arbia noted: “Considering the clear and appropriate political relations between Algeria and Iran, the relations between the techno-parks of the two countries should be expanded as much as possible and the scope of ICT cooperation between Algeria and Iran facilitated. I invite the officials of ICT Park to visit Algeria's techno-parks.”
In the end, it was decided to conduct additional negotiations to prepare and send the draft memorandum through diplomatic channels.