Prof. Rami Abdel-Rahim, President of the University of Petra, participated in the opening session of the Leaders in Innovation Fellowships Program – LIF, which is delivered by the Industrial Scientific Research and Development Fund/Higher Council for Science and Technology, in partnership with the Royal Academy of Engineering in Britain.
The primary objective of LIF is to build the entrepreneurial capacity of researchers and innovators and support innovation that has the potential to contribute to the social and economic development of their country through commercialization.
10 researchers from Jordan were pronounced winners, including Dr. Nidal Hussein of UOP's Faculty of Engineering, who won the prize for developing a new technology for water purification and removal of heavy metals from water sources, very highly toxic water pollutants.
The new technology makes use of organic waste, which is processed for improved properties that lead to the removal of heavy metals from water. A simulation of continuous filtration processes was done in the Water and Environment Research Laboratory at the University of Petra. The project aims to develop and design a new treatment method for removing heavy metals from water.
LIF 2023 program will go through multiple phases to be implemented over a period of nine months, comprising a preparatory phase, a distance training phase, a training phase in Jordan, a remote supervision phase, and a training phase in Britain. The Jordan-based training phase started Monday 6, March and lasts for a week. The focus is on building the participants' capacities in various skills and tools of entrepreneurship, introducing them to the local entrepreneurial business environment, and informing them of investment opportunities, potential investors, available financing opportunities, and legislations related to patent registration, among others. The training will be conducted by Oxentia of the University of Oxford.
The opening session of the training phase was attended by the British Ambassador to Jordan, presidents of Jordanian universities, and the 11 fellowship winners who come from different local institutions and universities. A number of businessmen and investors will participate in the activities to discuss the participants' projects and the possibilities of financing commercialization of these projects. Also present were the 24 graduates of the previous two sessions of the program.
Secretary-General of the Higher Council for Science and Technology, Dr. Abdullah Al-Mousa, said the program aims to provide the trainees with practical skills related to developing their projects in order to create a common language of dialogue between the academic and entrepreneurial circles in the Kingdom. This, according to AL-Mousa, consolidates the royal support for the youth and the great role the program plays in supporting entrepreneurs and developing the Jordanian entrepreneurial environment, which positively impacts the economy through the creation of new and non-traditional job opportunities that meet market needs.
Al-Mousa added that the Academy and the Fund are following up on the 35 participants taking part in the three courses of the program, who are also being provided with guidance and supervision in entrepreneurship and commercialization. Al-Mousa, who wished the participants success, added that the implementation of the program is a phase of the training program aimed at linking the trainees with the local entrepreneurial community.
For her part, the UK Ambassador to Jordan, Bridget Brende, said, "The LIF program is one example of UK's support for the Jordanian economy. Today I am with you to participate in the launch of the second phase of LIF program in Jordan, and to celebrate a new group of wonderful young innovators, who I am confident will play an important role in creating jobs and driving economic growth and prosperity in Jordan".
Rima Ras, Director of the Industrial Scientific Research and Development Fund, said that the training program is an ideal platform for academics and entrepreneurs that contributes to refining their skills and developing their knowledge in technological entrepreneurship; it constitutes an essential component of the pathways to developing national economy, and helps create suitable job opportunities for Jordanian youth.
The Industrial Scientific Research and Development Fund seeks to link industry with academia by providing support for joint research projects between universities and scientific centers on the one hand, and industry on the other, with the aim of improving the adequacy of products, developing new products, increasing the efficiency of the production process, and developing local technology to raise the competitiveness of the industrial sector.