Agrytech at GFIA: ensuring the right ideas are scaled up, accepted, adapted and reach those who need them
Ramy Boujawdeh, Berytech Deputy GM, joined other innovative speakers at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) conference in Abu Dhabi – UAE, where game-changing ideas and inspiration for food production with the potential to deliver higher yields without damaging our natural resources and climate were presented.
Boujawdeh presented Agrytech, the latest program developed by Berytech and co-funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands to support youth and startups turning agri-food challenges into solutions in the MENA Region. He spoke during the panel titled Creating Change, Making Innovation Happen, on ensuring the right ideas are scaled up, accepted, adapted and reach those who need them.
Boujawdeh shared how the Agrytech Program was turning challenges into opportunities in Lebanon, by capitalizing on the country’s strong human capital as well as excellence in STEM education, backed by its strong diaspora. “Lebanon enjoys a striving entrepreneurial ecosystem and there are excellent funding opportunities for knowledge economy-based businesses,” commented Boujawdeh.
He explained that the overall objective of the Agrytech Program was creating opportunities for the youth, through accelerating job creation and stimulating competitiveness from Lebanon through leveraging and developing capacities of local SMEs and startups
This, he described, was being done by providing support to innovate a smarter agri-food sector in the MENA region and supporting export within the MENA and the EU regions using linkages from leading innovation organizations from the Netherlands.
Boujawdeh went on to explain the future plans for the Agrytech Program, which include leading a movement of support in the MENA Region focused on innovation in the agriculture, water and energy nexus; developing a regional accelerator with international connections and networks in the private and public spaces; and supporting the creation of a specialized VC fund for agri-food innovations.
Boujawdeh called on all to be part of this revolution, to be involved and challenge the youth to innovate and solve these challenges, to become mentors or advisors, to bridge the sectors, and invest in Innovation. “Word of mouth works, please spread it!” he concluded.
Boujawdeh was joined by André Laperrière, Executive Director for Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition (GODAN); Reihem Roy, Principal for Omnivore Partners, USA; Mike Warmington from One Acre Fund, Kenya; and Carla Tanas, Co-founder of Industry Disruptors – Game Changers (IDGC), Co-founder of Future Agro Challenge (FAC), Co-Curator of Disrupt, Startup, ScaleUP. The panel moderators were Dr. David Allen, Vice President and Doug Hockstad, Assistant Vice President, Tech Launch Arizona, USA.