In conjunction with the Bahrain World Economic Summit (BWES 2010), the "Licensing Opportunities Forum 2010" organized by the Licensing Executives Society – Arab Countries (LES-AC) was inaugurated today under the patronage of HE Dr. Hassan Fakhro, Bahraini Minister of Industry and Commerce.
In his speech, HE the Minister congratulated LES-AC headed by its President Dr. Talal Abu-Ghazaleh on organizing the Forum in Bahrain which is considered the first of its kind in the Middle East that tackles Licensing, Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer, the main factors in strategic alliances and joint international projects.
"We are also proud of our partnership with the Licensing Executives Society – Arab Countries and we urge them to continue their excellent work and effort in providing a suitable environment for technology transfer and business development through their significant role in raising the level of knowledge and building human capacities in the fields of licensing, intellectual property rights and technology transfer," the Minister addressed the participants.
From his part, Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh, LES-AC president and chairman and CEO of Talal Abu-Ghazaleh Organization (TAG-Org) stressed on the need to develop laws and policies related to licensing and technology transfer in the Arab countries saying:" This will facilitate and organize the process of technology transfer and guarantee the rights of both licensor and licensee."
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh highlighted the role of the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) which is considered "the main step towards supporting the information technology infrastructure specialized in research and education in the Mediterranean area in the electronic science field in the Arab countries; where ASREN will be founded as a legal establishment under the supervision of the League of Arab States and the United Nations Global Alliance for Information and Communication Technologies and Development (UN GAID) to assist in providing the electronic infrastructure in the Arab world."
Dr. Abu-Ghazaleh also tackled the major problems encountered by the Arab countries in marketing technology such as weak financial support in both public and private sectors to support scientific research and spread awareness in the Arab countries.He also recommended holding this event annually in cooperation with several entities.
Meanwhile, Mr. Abdul Rahim Hassan Naqi, secretary general of the Federation of the Gulf Cooperation Council Chambers (FGCCC) expressed his happiness in taking part in the event saying:" We are certain that the Forum will achieve its goals in facilitating technology transfer and developing businesses through licensing and locating international partners and agents, in addition exchanging information on the best mechanisms in providing communication opportunities locally and internationally in order to accelerate the pace of technology transfer and economic development in the Arab countries according to national needs."
Mr. Al Naqi highlighted the role of the Gulf private sector saying that: "Although most of the Gulf industries are considered new but have already taken serious steps towards Intellectual Property Rights and Technology Transfer issues. The sector is trying hard to benefit from the international cooperation which is essential to its development."
Meanwhile, Dr. Abdullah Najjar, president of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, stressed on the need for new initiatives and programs in licensing and investment in technology to serve social and economic development saying: "Licensing is one of the major players in investment, scientific research and technology development and I wish this Forum would become an annual event in which several successful initiatives will materialize."
Dr. Saleh Hashem, secretary general of the Association of Arab Universities focused in his speech on the importance of developing scientific research in universities adding that: "This Forum comes just in time when the Arab world is witnessing a significant growth in various industrial and commercial fields as the demand arises to search for ways to diversify its economy."
A host of experts in the field of technology transfer, licensing and intellectual property took part in the event from various countries around the world representing both governmental and private sectors, universities and research and development centers.