NNA – The innovation and creativity of the vibrant knowledge economy in Lebanon have been recognised this week in London and Beirut by the visit of His Royal Highness The Duke of York, KG, to University College London to meet the 15 Lebanese companies participating in the UK-Lebanon Tech Hub’s (UKLTH) Accelerator Programme, as well as IDAL’s presentation of an award to British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter for the UKLTH initiative.
In a press release by the British Embassy in Beirut, it said: “Celebrating 15 years of the passing of the Investment Law No.360 establishing the Investment Development Authority of Lebanon (IDAL) as a public body, which provides investors with a series of services and incentives to invest in Lebanon, the United Kingdom has been recognised today for its contribution to Lebanon’s knowledge economy in a ceremony led by Prime Minister Tammam Salam. The Award for the ‘Highest Contribution to Knowledge Transfer’ embodied in the Tech Hub initiative was accepted by Ambassador Shorter at the Grand Serail.”
Release added: “In parallel to this acknowledgment, Nicolas Sehnaoui, Chairman of the UK-Lebanon Tech Hub along with 15 Lebanese tech start-up companies based in London’s University College met yesterday HRH The Duke of York, KG. The visit was an opportunity for His Royal Highness to meet representatives from these companies and to see how the six-month programme designed to help them access international markets is supporting Lebanese entrepreneurs to expand globally.”
British Ambassador to Lebanon Hugo Shorter said: ‘I am honoured to be receiving IDAL’s award today for the UK’s impact on technology and knowledge transfer. The ‘UK Lebanon Tech Hub’ initiative is a great example of cooperation between the UK and Lebanon. It’s about Lebanese tech entrepreneurs using UK expertise to break into global markets. Through the Tech Hub, HRH The Duke of York met some of Lebanon’s fastest growing tech start-ups in London yesterday. The UK-Lebanon Tech Hub is running a second accelerator programme: I encourage all budding tech entrepreneurs to apply!’
For his part, Nicolas Sehnaoui, Chairman of the UK-Lebanon Tech Hub, said: “Anyone who looks beyond the headlines can see that Lebanon is establishing itself as a thriving hub for start-ups. Its young, entrepreneurial and highly-educated population have created a cluster of companies that are ready to expand onto the world stage. Training and mentoring provided by UK-Lebanon Tech Hub and UCL will help these companies break into new markets. There is no better opportunity for these entrepreneurs than to be based in London for six months – giving them a springboard for growth into Europe and further afield.”
Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, said: “UCL has been very pleased to support these Lebanese companies on their path to global growth. Our involvement in the International Accelerator Programme highlights our commitment to fostering entrepreneurship and to using our training and mentoring expertise to help start-up businesses expand.”
Release noted: “The UK-Lebanon Tech Hub is a joint initiative founded in 2014by Banque du Liban (Lebanon’s Central Bank) and the UK government. The Lebanese tech sector grew by an average annual rate of 7.9 per cent to reach a market size of US $381 million in 2014.”