Ramallah, Gaza, Palestine - The third Edition of the Palestine Clean Technology Innovation Competition 2023, organized under the United Nations Industrial Development Organization's (UNIDO) MOUSTADAMA Programme in partnership with the Palestinian Technology Park, AlQuds University and Gaza University, concluded on Wednesday. Three winners were announced: Nanotechnology Company for Water and Environmental Systems took first place, Agriotech Agricultural Technology Company placed second, and Glean Sorting and Recycling Company came in third.
The event, held simultaneously at the Palestine Techno Park in Birzeit and the Gaza University, was attended by key figures including H.E. the Minister of National Economy, Mr. Khaled Osaily, the Director of Cooperation in the European Union, Mr. Ibrahim Laafia, the United Nations Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator in Palestine, Ms. Lynn Hastings, and the Head of the UNIDO Program Office in Palestine, Mr. Ahmed ElFarra. Representatives from the government, diplomatic corps, United Nations, and Palestinian private sector also participated.
Minister Osaily emphasized the significant impact of clean technology ideas on the Palestinian economy, stressing the Ministry of Economy's commitment to supporting UNIDO's "MOUSTADAMA" Programme. He highlighted the establishment of the Special Technical Committee on Clean Technology as proof of this commitment. The strong presence of stakeholders indicated tangible and planned efforts for long-term environmental mobilization and resource deployment. Mr. Ibrahim Laafia highlighted the global challenge of climate change, emphasizing the importance of clean technology in Palestine, where energy needs and import dependence significantly affect livelihoods and economic growth. He underscored the European Union's collaboration with UNIDO and Palestinian partners to promote energy efficiency and renewable energy solutions in the industrial sector. Innovative clean technology solutions offered by Palestinian entrepreneurs play a vital role in this effort.
Ms. Lynn Hastings emphasized the importance of national ownership of the Palestine Clean Technology Innovation Program and praised the resilience and innovation of Palestinian youth. She affirmed the United Nations' commitment to supporting these efforts by providing guidance, resources, and connections to combat climate vulnerability and promote climate action. Mr. Ahmed ElFarra from UNIDO stated that the MOUSTADAMA Programme aimed to nurture a vital ecosystem for clean technology entrepreneurship and build the foundation for a carbon-free, environmentally friendly economy. He highlighted the cooperation between the government, Palestinian agencies, environmental and commercial institutions, local acceleration initiatives, and experts, emphasizing the collective effort to ensure the sustainability of the program's impact on the region's entrepreneurship spirit.
Eight startups, including Agriotech, Aquai, DaleelKey Capital, EcoMove, Glean, Green Cycle Units, Green World, and Nanotechnology for Water Systems & Environment, qualified for the final round. These startups presented their projects to a technical jury of local and international clean technology and business growth experts. The competition showcased innovative applications of advanced technologies with the potential to improve energy consumption, resource utilization, and reduce the carbon footprint. These projects also have the capacity to boost specialized and innovative entrepreneurship, create employment opportunities, and enhance the competitiveness of various Palestinian industry sectors.
Launched in July 2021 as part of UNIDO's flagship MOUSTADAMA Programme, this initiative is a significant step in addressing environmental challenges. Clean technology, encompassing energy supply, resource optimization, and sustainable development solutions, is pivotal for a sustainable future. It plays a vital role in mitigating the negative impact of human activities on the environment and countering the effects of climate change. The clean technology industry has experienced rapid growth and is anticipated to reach approximately US$650 billion annually by 2030, exceeding the 2023 level by more than three times.