The Inter Islamic Network on Information Technology (INIT) in collaboration with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) convened the 3rd and final 3 Day Regional Consultative Workshop on “National Innovation System and Intellectual Property (Arab Region)” in Tunis, Tunisian Republic, from October 5-7, 2015. The first Workshop of the series was held in Islamabad (October 7-9, 2013) focused on Asian Region whereas the second Workshop was held in Rabat, Kingdom of Morocco on November 25-27, 2014 and focused on African Region.
This series of workshops were aimed at strengthening the capability of senior academics and planners from the COMSATS, INIT and OIC Member States to understand and possibly help in developing national policies for improving innovation and IP frameworks.The workshops were further aimed at enabling the Member States to respond effectively to the challenges of building competitive economies during the period of rapid globalization and technological change.
The inaugural session of the workshop was held on October 5, 2015. The technical proceedings were spread over six sessions comprising of both invited and contributed talks and highlighted the impact and effect of innovation on national economies, particularly those of the Arab Region. The speakers also dilated on intellectual property issues as a means to securing the future of smaller economies. Different models of innovation systems and frameworks of intellectual property, and their role in transforming an economy driven by knowledge with strong linkages among universities, industries and R&D institutions were discussed. Key issues relating to patent filing, indigenous knowledge generation and creating awareness for understanding IP rights were highlighted.
It was agreed that a holistic and open economic policy for building a national innovation system, crafting technology policy and linking it to education, manufacturing, investment, trade, environment and sustainable development policies are desired. Each country should develop strategies to impart relevant skills required to instill a culture of learning.The need for continued dialogue both within and across national borders was recognized for effective exchange of communication. It was observed that institutional diversity with policies promoting interaction and interdependence among institutions has a positive effect on increasing national competitiveness.
Around 20 resource persons, speakers and participants from Arab Republic of Egypt, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Lebanese Republic, Kingdom of Morocco, Malaysian Federation, Republic of the Sudan, Sultanate of Oman, Tunisian Republic, People’s Republic of China and State of Palestine participated in the workshop.
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