Enabling an Innovative Cleantech Environment: Insights on Water, Solid Waste, Energy, and WEF Nexus
Jul 12 2023
The Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) at the American University of Beirut (AUB) played an active role in the ACT Smart Innovation Hub, establishing working groups in the water, solid waste, and energy sectors. These groups were formed to identify industry needs, prioritize entrepreneurship, and improve the business landscape. Their primary objective was to advocate for an enabling environment that fosters innovation and growth.
A growing trend in addressing social, economic, and environmental challenges is the “nexus” perspective, which recognizes the interdependencies between different sectors. Given the intricate linkages between water, energy, and solid waste, a holistic approach is necessary to ensure global water, energy, and food security, as well as sustainable agriculture and energy production.
The current enabling environment for the cleantech sector in Lebanon is largely absent, with various stakeholders operating independently rather than collaborating. Despite the clear benefits of collaboration, actors often work in isolation. Enhancing the enabling environment from a sector-wide perspective can be achieved through the establishment of policy lobbying and business development platforms that facilitate collective work, expertise exchange, and know-how sharing.
A dedicated team comprising Nadim Farajalla, Marc Ayoub, Hadil Bourgi, Rana El Hajj, Nisrine El Hougeiri, Georges Gharios, Maya Mhanna, and Celine Yazbek worked diligently for almost a year to assess the enabling environment for innovation in the Energy, Water, Solid Waste, and WEF Nexus sectors. These assessments aimed to strengthen business advancement and job creation in the Agri-food and Cleantech sectors within Lebanon.
The team visualized their findings and results into four comprehensive infographics and reports, which are presented below:
This report illustrates the water sector’s value chain, the number of employees in water-related companies compared to other Cleantech sectors, key stakeholders, and innovative companies. Additionally, it proposes solutions to foster an enabling environment for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) operating in the water sector.
The accompanying infographic and report outline the evolution of municipal solid waste management practices in Lebanon, including waste quantities and composition. It also provides an analysis of the sector’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats.
This report maps the distribution of Energy SMEs across Lebanon, highlighting their areas of activity and business types. It encompasses various aspects of clean energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage while offering recommended low-cost actions for improvement.
The report presents key components of the Cleantech industry and identifies the specific innovation drivers within the sector. It also compares Lebanon’s business indicators with other countries in the MENA region.
The ACT (Agrifood Clean Tech) Smart Innovation Hub takes a sector-wide approach for economic growth by stimulating innovators and entrepreneurs to put their creativity and energy at the service of the agrifood and cleantech sectors, encouraging them to develop local solutions to the challenges faced by Lebanon and the globe.
Berytech launched The ACT Smart Innovation Hub initiative in 2019, with funding from the Kingdom of The Netherlands, following the very successful two-year Agrytech Program.
In 2022, the initiative was upgraded and renewed for four years with the aim of maximizing its impact in growing and scaling innovative startups, supporting the Lebanese entrepreneurial ecosystem and working towards economic recovery.