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Innovation Policies in the Arab region

Innovation is the implementation of a new or significantly improved product (good or service), or process, a new marketing method, or a new organizational method in business practices, workplace organization or external relations. Innovativeness can therefore be the result of advanced research and development (R&D), but also in the novel ways existing products, processes and methods are used to perhaps address local issues to improve the livelihoods of communities.

Innovation in technology can be a driver of economic growth, improved productivity and efficiency, job creation and sustainable development. Maximizing the benefits of innovation on economic and social development, requires the formulation of strategies, plans, measures and development priorities. Innovation can be integrated into national development plans, alternatively innovation policy instruments that are aligned with new development paradigms can be developed. Innovation requires a favourable enabling environment, a promising entrepreneurial ecosystem, and suitable collaboration between public research centres, academic and private sector to strengthen and foster technology transfer. 

In the Arab region, there is a need to institutionalize innovation and formulate strategic policies to benefit from its economic and social impact at the regional, national and local levels. Some countries in the Arab region have made efforts in including innovation as part of strategies and policies, but more efforts are still needed in all countries to fully reap the benefits of innovation for sustainable development.

To support the development of innovation in the Arab region, ESCWA published several reports on fostering and developing innovation among stakeholders such as the public sector, private sector and academia. ESCWA also held expert meetings and organised capacity building workshops on this theme. 

This website serves as a reference and is a collection of all the resources and activities ESCWA has developed and implemented in the field of innovation policy.