Beirut, Lebanon – 10 November 2021
After months of intense training activities and workshops, the WATERMEDYIN Project, funded by the Italian Cooperation and implemented by CIHEAM Bari, celebrates its successful completion with 3 Closing Ceremonies held in Lebanon, Palestine and Tunisia.
Local ISOs and start-ups related to the agri-food, coastal development and marine industries were invited to share their final pitches and reflect on the achievements of the programme.
The Closing Ceremony in Lebanon, held in Beirut on 10 November 2021, aimed to shed light on the success achieved by the project since its inception, on the active role of the supporting bodies in providing opportunities for start-up companies and encouraging innovators to move forward with their business ideas.
The Closing Ceremony was attended by the key players of the WaterMedyin Programme, including Biagio Di Terlizzi, Deputy Director of CIHEAM Bari, Alessandra Piermattei, Head of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation (AICS) Office in Lebanon, Hussein Nasrallah, representative of the Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture and member of WATERMEDYIN’s Steering Committee as well as Mouïn Hamzé, Secretary General of the National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) of Lebanon. Their speeches were followed by the welcome addresses of the international coordinator of WATERMEDYIN Project, Alessandro Dessi and the National Coordinator, Rola Bou Khozam.
Five Lebanese startups, previously selected by an international jury, namely CubeX, Clean2O, Garbalizer, SmartLand, and SunCode, were the protagonists of the event and presented their pitches improved as a result of the coaching sessions carried out as part of the project. These finalists, who were awarded a € 10,000 prize, also participated in the final brokerage event held in Italy in the presence of investment companies and other official innovation players in their respective sectors. During the meeting, certificates of participation were also distributed to all ISO trainers and start-ups.
Rola Bou Khozam, Coordinator of the WATERMEDYIN Project for Lebanon, said: “We are proud to sponsor this initiative, which is in line with the values of the National Council for Scientific Research, to sustain Innovation Support Organizations (ISOs) in their role of mentoring/coaching startup companies, to launch their work and achieve their goals at the local level. We are proud of all the accomplishments achieved by this project and we thank all the supporting bodies that contributed to the success, despite the challenges we have faced.” She added: “We are working on the possibility of sponsoring and financing other projects in the near future that shall contribute to empower different players in the ecosystem strengthening of startups operating mainly in the agri-food and water resources management, helping them to grow and assert their role at national and local level through innovation, sustainability and creating a better future for Lebanon.”
Towards the end of the Closing Ceremony, Jocelyn Jawhar, expert and focal point of the Mediterranean Innovation Partnership (MIP) network – CIHEAM Bari highlighted MIP’s role at the regional level in enhancing the capacity building of ISOs to stimulate their growth and interest in being part of the network. The session concluded with a workshop held by an international expert, Giordano Dichter, and addressed to ISO coaches. The discussion focused on the need to improve the landscape of ISOs at the national level and how to identify and overcome challenges that may hinder their growth.
The closing ceremony symbolically represented the end of the WATERMEDYIN project but paved the way for future opportunities and programmes that local startups can benefit from in the near future.
Click here to learn more about the project.