EghtesadOnline: Joining Tehran in its move to establish tech centers and innovation factories, three northern coastal cities will also set up innovation factories.
During his visit to Golestan Province late last week, Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari signed a multilateral agreement with the province's Governorate, Golestan Science and Technology Park and Golestan Municipality to build an innovation factory in Gorgan.
A 2,400-square-meter land in the central part of Gorgan has been specified for the project, Sattari’s website reported, without furnishing further details.
"Aimed at expanding the startup and knowledge-based ecosystems nationwide, the factory will provide tech firms with shared working space, an opportunity to exchange ideas and solutions, legal and marketing consultation, as well as professional mentorship," Financial Tribune quoted Sattari as saying.
“Accelerators, startups, knowledge-based companies and investors can form a team and collaborate to promote entrepreneurship and technological products in different spheres,” he added.
Appreciating the establishment of such entities as part of Iran’s move toward curbing oil dependence, Sattari said tech firms are flourishing.
“They can both help apply smart solutions to different fields, like urban management, and promote digital economy in the country,” he said.
According to the official, talks are underway to launch a similar project in Gonbad-e Kavous County in the province.
Gilan Province has also joined the trend of promoting the country’s startup ecosystem.
Ali Basti, the head of Gilan Science and Technology Park, emphasized that tech centers and innovation units can tap into the latent treasure of creativity and knowledge.
"We are planning to establish an innovation factory in Rasht to provide tech firms with stronger and more comprehensive support," he said.
“A team of experts are conducting preliminary studies to find the best location for the factory and design the construction project.”
Basti said startups and tech firms are more flexible and cost-effective compared with conventional enterprises.
“In case, they receive their basic tools as well as financial and technical assistance, they can help Iran become a tech-oriented economy,” he said.
The construction of innovation factories, as well as tech centers in the Iranian metropolises, has gained momentum over the past few years.
The capital city of Tehran has pioneered the move with several university-based tech parks and innovation factories such as Azadi and Highway, which have attracted numerous tech teams and startups.
Projects resembling the innovation factories in Tehran were also launched in other Iranian cities such as Shiraz in Fars Province, Tabriz in East Azarbaijan Province, and Isfahan and Yazd in the namesake provinces.
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.