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Investing in science-based companies will help boost the national economy.
Investing in science-based companies will help boost the national economy.

Anzali FTZ Techmart Expo Boosts Science-Based Firms

With correct planning, Anzali FTZ can be expected to become an export hub for science-based services and goods provided by Iranian firms

Anzali FTZ Techmart Expo Boosts Science-Based Firms

Bandar Anzali Free Trade-Industrial Zone located on the northwestern shores of the Caspian Sea hosted the Anzali FTZ Techmart, August 24 to 26.
The three-day exhibition aimed to promote the development of Iran’s technology market and to facilitate cooperation between science-based companies and national and international investors.
One of the main goals of the event was to create links between scientific research and businesses to boost national industry and economy, ISNA reported.
In September 2015, on occasion of the National Research Week in Iran the Ministry of Science held an exhibition in which more than 5,000 science-based companies participated.
During the event the ministry estimated the technology maturity of the projects showcased and classified them in nine technology readiness levels (TRLs).
TRLs are determined during technology readiness assessments that examine program concepts, technology requirements, and the demonstrated technology capabilities.
TRLs are based on a scale from 1 to 9 with 9 being the most mature technology. According to Vahid Ahmadi, deputy minister of science, the level of more than 500 projects was ranked above 6. This was the first time that Iranian companies were ranked based on their project TRL.
The 500 companies were presented at the Anzali Techmart Exhibition. Ahmadi said the projects which were showcased by these companies can be commercialized if the required capital is provided.
In addition to the companies, 23 representatives from different provinces and 96 agents from national science and technology parks, research centers, universities and venture capital firms were present at the event.
“One of the main issues that the ministry had in mind in choosing Anzali FTZ as the location of the event was facilitating its potentials to introduce Iranian science-based companies to the international market and to also attract foreign investors,” the official said.
The ministry had also assessed the progress of the contracts which the companies had signed last year.
Based on the reports, one of the companies present at the event unveiled a waste-to-energy power plant project that an unnamed German company showed interest in. On the last day of the event a contract was signed between the two companies.
Mohammad Reza Khanmohammadi, an official with the Ministry of Industry, Mining and Trade said, “On smaller scales, there are several opportunities within the science and technology market that go unnoticed by major companies.”
“Science-based companies and entrepreneurs, on the other hand are in closer touch with the society. This allows them to gain a better grasp of such unexploited opportunities; thus their attempts to fill the market niche are generally more successful.”
According to the official, the Ministry of Industry is willing to support science-based companies which prove worthy, and this will help boost national economy and industries.

  MoU
At the closing ceremony of the exhibition, the Ministry of Science and Anzali FTZ Organization representatives signed a memorandum of understanding.
The MoU stipulates that both sides are to utilize their resources to assist expansion and development of science-based companies and to facilitate the commercialization and exports of their products.
The Ministry of Science has pledged to provide consulting services and assist the Anzali FTZ in establishing a Technology Park.  And the latter was tasked with preparing a five-year business plan for the Technology Park.
The ministry is to help assist with the indigenization of technologies.
According to Reza Masrour, CEO of Anzali FTZ Organization, the initial required capital and free-of-charge working spaces will be provided to science-based companies to help them formulate their business plans.
With correct planning, Anzali FTZ can become an export hub for science-based services and goods provided by Iranian firms.
Furthermore, the services provided by such companies based in Anzali will be utilized in the FTZ. This will enable the new companies to get a grasp “on the complexities of providing services to the market.”
Masrour added “In addition to investing in the companies the organization is willing to be guarantor of science-based companies in case they need to get a loan from banks.”
Anzali FTZ, like other free zones in the country, allows visa free entry and exit for foreign investors and tourists and 20-year tax exemptions for investors. This can serve as an additional motivation for foreigners to invest in science-based companies in Anzali.
The free zone also allows 100% foreign-owned enterprises to operate in the area while registration of a firm is a quick and easy procedure.

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