EghtesadOnline: The construction of three innovation factories, which has started in Iranian metropolises, is expected to be completed before the end of the current fiscal year (March 19, 2020).
“Joining Tehran in its push for establishing tech centers, Shiraz, Mashhad and Yazd will host innovation factories in the coming months,” Esmaeil Qaderifar, an official with the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology, said.
The move is to expand the startup and knowledge-based ecosystems nationwide, Mehr News Agency reported.
Qaderifar said the innovation factory in Shiraz, Fars Province, is almost complete and will become operational in a few months, according to Financial Tribune.
"Established in a 1.4-hectare abandoned facility, the innovation factory will be launched by mid-September," he said.
The official noted that a similar project in Mashhad, the provincial center of Khorasan Razavi, is set to become operational in October.
“The building housing the factory is an old and unused facility located near the Ferdowsi University of Mashhad,” he said.
Yazd will get a tech center in a year. The vice presidential office is collaborating with the National Land and Housing Organization of Iran in identifying a suitable building for the project.
“Tabriz in East Azarbaijan will get its third innovation factory when a construction project is completed. Feasibility studies are underway in Isfahan Province for introducing a similar project,” Qaderifar said.
All the projects have been established in abandoned factories to keep the projects cost-efficient.
The Roads and Urban Development Ministry, municipalities and governorates in the host cities are assisting the vice presidential office in establishing the factories.
Innovation factories help startups and knowledge-based companies find legal, technical and financial support to develop their activities.
Following the Capital
Qaderifar noted that the new projects will resemble innovation factories in Tehran, such as Azadi and Highway, which have attracted numerous tech teams and startups.
Azadi Innovation Factory was launched in August 2018 at an abandoned chemicals factory near Azadi Square, west of Tehran. The center is backed by the Vice Presidential Office for Science and Technology and is managed by Sharif University of Technology.
Highway, the capital's second innovation factory, is under construction. The factory is being established in an old building near Nobonyad Square on the northeastern flank of Tehran.
Extending support to new startups and technology firms has been on the government's agenda since 2013 when President Hassan Rouhani began his first term in office.
As a result, the establishment of science and technology parks and innovation factories has gained momentum across Iran.