The National Council for Scientific Research (CNRS) in collaboration with the World Bank released a survey on ‘Innovation in Lebanon’s Industry’, during a seminar that was held on June 6 in the Rotana Hotel.
The survey was conducted in the local market, and focuses on the innovation activities in industrial firms and the information and communication technologies (ICT) sector. Funding was provided by the World Bank.
InfoPro was the company assigned to conduct the survey. A total of 478 firms operating in most industrial sectors were surveyed. The sample was composed of manufacturing firms, micro-firms, and ICT enterprises. The survey represented about 20,000 persons, and indicated that about $120 million is spent by industrial enterprises on their R&D department, in total about 700 employees work in research and development.
Mouin Hamze, Secretary General of CNRS, said: “The survey revealed the need for reconsidering the structure of institutions to support innovations, as well as increasing the governmental support for research and development institutions and those who concern productive sectors like Kafalat and Berytech.” He said that such surveys should be conducted for sectors that has added value such as food industries, and tourism and banking services in order to penetrate international markets.
Randa Akeel, Senior Economist at the World Bank, said: “Innovation and research and development among enterprises in the local market happens at higher level than one would ever expect, regardless of how a firm defines innovation and R&D.”
Minister of Industry, Hussein Hajj Hassan, said: “Small and medium enterprises are not able to allocate budgets for innovation, research and development because they have other barriers to think about.”
Rigas Arvanitis, Sociologist in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at the American University of Beirut, said: “This was the first survey on innovation conducted in the local market, and it was a difficult process because the international standards are not targeting countries that have such a small industry.”
A final report will be published by CNRS and the World Bank within two months.