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Palestine Industry seeks to become more resource and energy efficient

Industry seeks to become more resource and energy efficient, non-polluting and safe, by producing products that are responsibly managed throughout their life cycle, while increasing productivity and generating additional revenues. Dr. Ayman Al Haj Daoud, our MED TEST II coordinator in Palestine, on behalf the Palestine Academy for Science and Technology - the organization behind science and technology in Palestine- talks about greening of industries.
Can you please describe the organisation that you worked for?
The Palestine Academy for Science and Technology (PALAST) is an autonomous public, not-for-profit organization with its headquarters in Jerusalem and branches in Ramallah and Gaza. PALAST, which was established in 1997, is the primary science and technology body in the country in charge of providing advice in formulating policies, programs and projects to support national development.  In short, coordinates all relevant scientific and technological (S&T) activities in Palestine.

The Academy aims at institutionalizing scientific and technological research in Palestine, promoting scientific discovery and innovative technological advances, in addition to fostering the use of science and technology in various domains. Furthermore, coordinates scientific efforts between the private the public sector.

 

Can you tell us about yourself? 

I have a PhD in Experimental Physics from the RUB Bochum University, Germany. I am currently the Director of Publication and R&D Affairs division and responsible for the Science, Technology, Innovation Observatory (STIO), which is hosted by PALAST. I am also currently coordinating the program for enhancing Academic-Industrial Partnership Initiative in cooperation with Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Education and Higher Education.

I have coordinated many scientific studies such as the ¨Scientific Research in Palestine, the Reality, Challenges and Means of Activation & Development?, participated in many training workshops in the framework of the Medibtikar Project – EU funded project that offers the Mediterranean partner countries new and improved instruments to stimulate innovation in private and public enterprises and encourages networking across the countries, and coordinated the implementation of the community Innovation Survey (CIS) on several Palestinian industries including stone and marble, food and beverage, pharma and  software developing companies sectors. I have also coordinated the implementation of the several research projects funded by European Commission, namely: SMITE, MED-IST, JOIN-MED , and recently MED-DIALOGUE –Promoting ICT Dialogue and cooperation with the MPC towards HORIZON 2020.

 

You received the 3 days UNIDO Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technology (TEST) Training Approach.  How did you like it?

The 3 days training were comprehensive and informative. I found especially interesting all the industry case studies from neighboring countries that were presented, as they were very representative for us. The training helped my colleagues and I very much in revising the project documents and tailoring methodology to better suit the current industrial settings in Palestine.

 

Looking back, do you see an increased interest from the industry to become greener?

Yes, there is certainly a greater interest from the industry to become greener, as this means higher opportunities for competing locally and increases the possibility to export to the region. In my opinion, the Ministry of National Economy and the Environmental Quality Authority and Industrial Unions, and the donors play a major role in disseminating the green culture among industrial companies. There are several awareness workshops that have been held concerning Green Industry.

 

What do you think are the major problems that should be tackled in order to strengthen the enterprises’ ability to innovate?

The current emerging political instability may alter any opportunity for cooperation

  • The economical fragile situation that makes investors and companies owners reluctant in investing in our companies.
  • Food sector is also characterized as a family business that tries to have all industrial process as confidential as possible.


Can you recommend us a publication that we should read?

  •  I. Khatib, L. Tsipouri, Y. Bassiakos,  A. Haj-daoud, “Innovation in Palestinian Industries: A Necessity for Surviving the Abnormal?,  Journal of the Knowledge Economy, ISSN 1868-7865,  J Knowl Econ DOI 10.1007/s13132-012-0093-8, Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012, January 2012.