Sci & Tech

Iran Extending Reach of Technology Ecosystem

Payam Special Economic Zone has launched a plan to house and support startups and knowledge-based companies active in the fields of aviation, information and communication technologies and transit
Iran Extending Reach of Technology Ecosystem
Iran Extending Reach of Technology Ecosystem

Iran’s startup ecosystem is expanding in new fields such as aviation and publication in order to upgrade the sectors technologically and gradually transform its traditional economy into a knowledge-based one.
Payam Special Economic Zone and Payam International Airport in Karaj, the central city of Alborz Province, are starting to incorporate modern technology in their operation. 
Nader Sanagou, the head of Payam SEZ, says efforts are being made to house and support startups and knowledge-based companies active in the aviation industries, information and communication technologies and transit in the zone, the zone’s Public Relations Office reported.
“The SEZ has absorbed over 10 trillion rials [$42.5 million] of domestic and foreign investments in the last Iranian year [ended March 19, 2020], which is a driving force for realizing the goal,” he said.
The head of Payam SEZ said short-term plans envisage launching 12 tech firms in the zone’s fourth phase. 
“We expect the development of the fourth phase to create over 2,000 jobs by the Iranian yearend [March 2021],” he said, adding that the figure is expected to reach 10,000 within a five-year framework.
Sanagou noted that in addition to attracting more tech units and startups, the establishment of Iran’s first ICT town, data centers and permanent ICT exhibitions is planned in the fourth phase of SEZ. 
The zone’s fourth phase is the newest and largest segment of the zone, covering 165 hectares of area. Phases one to three, which respectively span over 40, 56 and 18 hectares, are mostly specialized in industrial and ICT operations.
As the closest special economic zone to Iran’s capital city Tehran, Payam SEZ plays an important role in the country’s production cycle and job creation. The zone has attracted many companies and investments in ICT and knowledge-based fields.
Payam SEZ is spread across 3,600 hectares.
Over 300 firms in the fields of pharmaceuticals, health, oil and gas, medicine, information technology and ICT are operating in the zone.



Hi-Tech Publication 

In the capital city of Tehran, the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology has made an initiative to promote the application of state-of-the-art technologies in the publication sector.
Danesh Innovation Center was inaugurated on Sunday by Vice President Sorena Sattari and Science Minister Mansour Gholami to help promote tech units and startups working in the field.
Speaking at the inaugural event, Sattari said backing innovative ideas and the young talented generation interested in the fields of books and publications is one of the main reasons for launching the center. 
There are currently 11 startup teams at the center working on culture, art, content production, waste management, artificial intelligence and publication. 
The center is expected to inject innovation into the publishing industry and initiate a perceptible revolution. 
On the sidelines of the opening event, Sattari visited the tech units at the center and became familiar with their achievements. 



Tech in Literature and Culture

Danesh Innovation Center resembles a project inaugurated a week ago at the National Library and Archives of Iran.
The innovation center for promoting new ideas in data-oriented businesses is expected to become operational by the end of the current Iranian year (March 2021). The center is to provide workspace for entrepreneurs and owners of startup ideas in the fields of librarianship and archival science.
Ashraf Boroujerdi, the head of NLAI, said at the event that the tech center is geared toward converting library services into a smart system, providing tech teams and entrepreneurs with the library’s database and extending their achievements to other public institutions.
She expressed hope that the tech center will be a link between the valuable treasury kept at the library and the technology ecosystem.
Officials believe that utilizing the local potentials and entrepreneurship of the tech ecosystem is necessary for upgrading a library’s productivity, stressing that by neglecting innovative ideas and technology, no organization can survive in the market.
“The only way to meet today’s demand for the collection, processing and presentation of classified information in a systematic and speedy manner is to embed modern technology in the workplace,” Boroujerdi said.
These efforts are applauded by the government of President Hassan Rouhani since he took office for the first term in 2013. He has placed the extension of resources and facilities for boosting the country’s technology ecosystem high on the agenda. 

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