Economy, Sci & Tech

$9.8m to Promote Knowledge-Based Industries

$9.8m to Promote Knowledge-Based Industries$9.8m to Promote Knowledge-Based Industries

Iran’s Innovation and Prosperity Fund has lifted the cap for financing knowledge-based companies from 200 billion rials ($6.5 million) to 300 billion rials ($9.8 million).

Behzad Soltani, the head of IPF, said the rise in loans’ cap is in line with IPF’s duty to support the commercialization of knowledge-based firms, IRNA reported.

“Loans are mainly paid for purchasing production lines and equipment,” he said.

The official noted that firms with a technical and business plan are eligible for receiving the loans.

A knowledge-based economy is a system of consumption and production based on intellectual capital, in which a significant part of a company’s value may consist of intangible assets, mainly the value of its workers’ knowledge.

“So far, we have approved the allocation of 9.75 trillion rials ($319.3 million) to 163 applicants, a third of which has already been paid,” Soltani said.

“About 500 loan applications with a total value of 19.7 trillion rials ($645.3 million) are also being reviewed.”

IPF, established in 2012, provides financial support to knowledge-based companies and startups. It is also tasked with promoting risky businesses and starting partnerships with foreigners.

As per the law, the government is obliged to allocate a portion of national annual budget to IPF, though the fund is allowed to attract investments directly from the private sector and banks for the knowledge sector.

Currently, 2,430 knowledge-based companies are officially registered with the Vice President’s Office for Science and Technology, 1,469 of whichm are startups.

About 782 knowledge-based firms are active in the production sector and 179 firms belong to the industrial sector.

Iran’s economy is witnessing a transition of traditional transactions to more knowledge-based activities that can make a significant contribution to economic development by increasing added value among other things, experts say.  

The scope of a knowledge-based economy is not limited to the technology sector alone; it can also be used in information technology, nanotechnology, biotechnology and other high-tech fields.