EghtesadOnline: Iran’s Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology and the Department of Environment has initiated a joint project to use high-tech innovations to curb environmental pollution.
Accordingly, the two institutions have called on local startups and knowledge-based companies to introduce their capabilities and products that can be used for addressing environmental challenges prevailing in Iran.
Abbas Esmaeili, the vice presidential office's secretary for environmental issues, told Mehr News Agency that there are numerous tech firms working on water treatment technologies, soil degradation, air pollution and weather forecast.
The best ideas and products will receive financial, technical and legal support to expand their work and assist the joint project, according to Financial Tribune.
"The prevailing environmental issues and pollutions are multidimensional problems that can be approached from different angles. All the natural and human sources of the issues can be considered a base for developing tech ideas and products," he said.
According to the official, air pollution can be scrutinized from two main angles: One is tackling the moving and non-moving sources of emission, and the other is employing technology to combat air pollutants.
“A high-tech catalyst converter earlier developed by a local company is a good example of such practical devices. The product is designed to remove a large part of pollutants released from vehicles' exhausts,” he said.
Esmaeili noted that employing innovative and technological solutions in optimizing the operation of Iran Meteorological Organization in weather forecasts is necessary.
The official maintained that foreseeing extreme weather conditions that are inevitable, considering the devastating effects of climate change, can help decision-makers develop wise plans to control the relevant activities such as agriculture and water resource management.
According to IMO, x-band weather radar systems, radiosonde, ceilometers, wave buoy and air quality monitoring stations are among the organization's devices in dire need of an upgrade.
Esmaeili said knowledge-based firms and startups can help bolster waste disposal and treatment in the country.
“The effort is in line with the government's policies to boost waste management, especially in Iran’s northern provinces that are tourist hubs and facing littering,” he said.
"Knowledge-based companies and startups can help devise new ways of encouraging the general public to separate waste at source. Besides, cutting-edge technology can be applied in the collection, disposal, treatment and even converting the wastes to compost or electricity."
Esmaeili said the agriculture sector is almost untapped and has high potential for tech firms.
“They can help farmers employ more cost-effective and time-saving approaches in growing plants, reducing soil degradation and excessive water consumption, developing eco-friendly pesticides and fertilizers, and even helping farmers increase their income with the latest retail methods,” he said.
He suggested that tech aficionados use the experience of developed countries that have been successful in approaching different environmental pollutions and management strategies.
Esmaeili emphasized that the firms are not obliged to submit a "technological" solution, but even a simple tip or idea in managing environmental issues can be highly helpful.
"Tech units might have effective ideas for solving today's environmental issues without special tools, but with a mere change in strategies," he said.
According to the Vice Presidential Office, over 4,700 knowledge-based companies are active all around the country in different fields, from ICT to the food industry.
Experts believe that with the help of the younger generation and their potentials, the country can curb its reliance on oil revenues and help realize a knowledge-based economy.
To this end, the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has put extra focus on supporting tech firms and startups since his first term in office in 2013.