Feb 08 2022

Berytech was part of the Water, Energy, Food (WEF) NEXUS INNOVATION WEEK a regional conference connecting attendees with relevant peers and stakeholders in Europe and the MENA region.

The event took place virtually from 17 to 20 January 2022 and streamed workshops, discussion panels, and expert roundtables, followed by B2B matchmaking sessions gathering SMEs, Startups, Academics, Researchers, Experts, Tech transfer offices, policymakers and R&D institutions linked to the field of Water, Energy & Food had an open space to exhibit their innovative products, services & ideas.

The WEF NEXUS innovation week is under the NEX-LABS project co-funded by the European Union – ENI CBC MED Programme and the PHEMAC project co-funded by the European Union – PRIMA Programme.

The Introductory Regional Conference discussed The Nexus approach applied to Water, Energy, and Food security in the MENA region, where Ramy Boujawdeh, the Deputy General Manager of Berytech was the Keynote speaker and set the tone for the remainder of the conference.

“In Berytech, we believe in the role of sustainable agriculture to ensure food security across the region and beyond. The connection between Water, Energy and Food is a must for everyone to understand especially when it comes to policymakers and more importantly for seeing a lot of researchers and innovators working together on the coordination of efforts and approaches,” said Boujawdeh.

The ‘NEXUS HUB’s KPIs and more’ Focus Group gathered people from similar backgrounds and experiences to discuss the NEXUS iHUB and the gathered experience of various funded projects and platforms while addressing existing WEF NEXUS challenges and opportunities.

The innovation week also allowed participants to connect with PHEMAC Euro-Mediterranean and Tunisian innovators, researchers, policymakers, international companies, investors and industrials in WEF sectors and connected PHEMAC Project Coordinators, Researchers & Innovators in WEF sectors and the 8 winning teams of the Go2Market Hackathon pitched their innovative ideas to an international audience at the PHEMAC Brokerage event.

“It is very important and interesting to see the impact when you introduce entrepreneurship activities to the research and innovation world being hackathons, coaching sessions or pitches, and brokerage events where the impact goes beyond numbers and becomes qualitative” explains Krystel Khalil, Berytech’s Programs Director who participated in the Focus Group.

The WE4F and Innovation in the MENA Region Panel Discussion that was led by Berytech took place on January 20th and discussed the opportunities for Nexus entrepreneurs and SMEs in the Mediterranean, featuring the WE4F Program with Irene Boghdadi – Technical Assistance Specialist at Chemonics Egypt, Constantin Salameh – Head of Investments – Berytech WE4F MENA Program and Yossef Ben-Meir – Co-founder of the High Atlas Foundation.

Salameh explained the role of Berytech and the WE4F MENA Program saying “On the investment side, most companies face funding gaps. Our role is to understand these gaps in terms of investment readiness, assess their business models, and then train them in how to put together their financial models and assess the value of their companies through a series of webinars. Then we do a one-on-one coaching session to understand the challenges of each company. In parallel, we engage several investors from across the region and match them with the applicants who have gone through all the training. The final phase is to work on the investment brokerage to make sure that all the transactions were done in a fair way. Our main goal is ultimately to measure how much funds these companies can raise.”

An international consortium of 11 partners from 7 different countries across the Mediterranean, including Berytech in Lebanon, joined forces to tackle the challenges of competitive and inclusive growth thanks to a nexus-driven approach.

NEX-LABS project is co-funded by the European Union under the ENI CBC Mediterranean Sea Basin Programme and has the ambitious goal to set up a long-term regional policy of the Mediterranean Strategy for Sustainable Development. 

The PHEMAC project is co-funded by the European Union under the PRIMA program. This project consists of creating an interactive IHUB platform that aims to capitalize on the results and best practices of the innovative projects carried out and those in progress linked to NEXUS and more particularly in the fields of water and agriculture in the Euro-Mediterranean region. PHEMAC will focus on best practices and projects related to the farming system, water, and food. PHEMAC has been designed considering already defined strategic priorities to develop the framework for cooperation in the MPC region and face future Water Ecosystem, Food, and their NEXUS challenges through an open innovation approach supported by enhanced public-private sector cooperation. 

Berytech is an implementing partner in Lebanon of the PHEMAC project and activities, including the setting up of an innovation support helpdesk to facilitate the successful replication of cataloged and validated best practices in the EU-MPC region, the organization of innovation weeks, hackathon events, bootcamp and Go2market support activities.

The PHEMAC project is implemented by 12 partners, distributed among several countries in the Mediterranean: Spain, Egypt, Italy, Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, France, and Tunisia.

Source: Berytech