Officials pose for a group photo during the event
Kuwait firms ink deal through GBI Program working at high speed: Meerza

KUWAIT CITY, June 14: The National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC), a subsidiary of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA), has announced that a number of local companies and Kuwaiti entrepreneurs have signed five partnership agreements with international companies in the environment, renewable energy, and life sciences sectors through NTEC’s Global Bridge Initiative (GBI).
The announcement was made during an event held recently by NTEC and attended by representatives from local companies, government institutions and officials from the University of Texas (UT) at Austin. The event, which took place at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry, was reviewing the achievements of the GBI program, since it’s launch in January 2011.

Anas Meerza, General Manager for NTEC, said: “These partnerships were made because international companies were convinced that Kuwait is a promising market with local professionals capable of handling and transferring high technology. This will serve as a focal point for diversifying the national economy, transferring technologies to Kuwait, creating new jobs, in addition to attracting foreign capital and enticing investments.
“The GBI program is working at a high speed and has completed many activities and programs in only six months instead of 12 months, as was originally scheduled. This success is a result of the effective interaction between various national partners and the demands of the local market for advanced technologies in sectors such as renewable energy and life sciences, as well as the ongoing collaboration between NTEC and UT at Austin” added Meerza.

NTEC also reported that it had also been very successful in attracting and transferring new technologies to Kuwait, achieving one of the major goals of the GBI program. To date, 18 new technologies from three different sectors related to life sciences, information systems and renewable energy have been introduced for the first time into Kuwait through the program.
The GBI team presented the 18 new technologies to participants, emphasising that the new innovations will be developed in Kuwait, ensuring that their development will be optimised to meet national and local needs and requirements. The team also added that further progress would require the involvement of local investors and partners to develop and commercialize these new technologies, thus increasing investment and economic activities in Kuwait and creating new job opportunities in the economy.

Providing an update on training, the GBI team said that 24 Kuwaiti professionals have been trained through the GBI program during the past six months. Eight of these have completed their training at the University of Texas, at Austin, and 16 received advanced training in Kuwait. The GBI team explained that training provided through the program has several objectives.
These include empowering national professionals by widening their experience and improving their skills in high technology sectors; ensuring the availability of highly qualified professionals in Kuwait to transfer new innovations and technologies to serve the national and regional work sectors; and helping foster a climate in which professionals and entrepreneurs can contribute and take part in new projects based on transferred and newly developed innovations.
Paul Zukowski, Vice-President of the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 and Global Commercialization Group, a partner in the GBI program, said: “It is pleasing that NTEC has exceeded expectations and these are heartening results.”

NTEC has been able to accomplish unprecedented achievements in record time, actively contributing to the success of the GBI program in Kuwait and the completion of its targets”.
During the meeting, Training Completion Certificates were distributed to all 16 trainees who participated in the training in Kuwait. Trainees were from a number of government sectors including Kuwait University and the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR).
The GBI program is an international initiative that NTEC successfully launched and jointly developed the Kuwaiti version with the University of Texas at Austin. The program was launched, in Kuwait, in January following three years of close collaboration with the University of Texas at Austin’s IC2 and Global Commercialization Group. NTEC is currently the representative of the GBI program, its local partner and regional commercialization center, making Kuwait the first country in the Arab and Gulf region and the ninth in the world to adopt this initiative.

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