Event titled celebrating remarkable success of Global Cleantech Innovation Program for small and medium enterprises and Start-ups held

Islamabad, February 11, 2016 (PPI-OT): An event entitled “Celebrating Success” was organized by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) in collaboration with Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry to celebrate the remarkable success of the Global Cleantech Innovation Program for SMEs and Startups (GCIP). Cleantech is a global competition aimed at promotion of Innovations in the area of Clean Technologies. This competition is simultaneously carried out in six countries i.e. Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and South Africa around the world.

The main aim of this competition is to foster innovations in Renewable energy, Energy Efficiency, Water Efficiency and Waste to Energy in SMEs and Start-up companies. This program involves extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and opportunities to showcase their innovations. Cleantech is basically a business accelerator program aimed at converting the Cleantech ideas into viable businesses and support them to develop their innovative technologies into full-fledged market-ready products.

The program culminated in five winners being awarded prize money ranging from US$ 15,000 to US$ 20,000 and the opportunity to participate in the Cleantech Open Global Forum held in Silicon Valley, USA. The visit was of prime significance for the participants in terms of increasing their exposure and also to raise investment for their start-ups from international investors and venture capital firms.

One of the national runner-up teams, Tawanai which has developed two scalable solutions, namely an agricultural dry bio-waste gasifier and a solar thermal concentrator for cooking and heating with zero carbon footprint, was additionally recognized as the best 2015 GCIP Runner-up in the Waste-to-Energy category at the global level.

Speaking at the occasion, the Additional Secretary, Ministry of Climate Change Shoaib Mir stressed the importance of technology, in particular clean technology, in this highly globalized world and the efforts made by the government for the promotion and advancement of technology and industrialization in Pakistan. He especially highlighted the role of UNIDO and its partners in arranging the competition and accelerator programme, which is promoting entrepreneurship, and contributing to the mitigation of the country’s energy shortage problem.

He also reiterated the commitment made by the Government of Pakistan to support such programs as they are doing earlier. He said he was really glad to hear about the laurels which Pakistani teams have brought at international level in this particular area and it is indeed an honour for people, government and all institutions of Pakistan. And today’s event will not only highlight the innovators inventions but will also help them in promotion of their technology at local as well international level.

Mr. Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) highlighted the initiatives taken by the Chamber, in collaboration with UNIDO, to support SMEs and entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on youth and females. He was optimistic that such initiatives would promote clean technologies in SMEs and enable them to compete more effectively in the market. He expressed keen interest to work with UNIDO on such initiatives in the future.

The UNIDO Representative to Pakistan, Mr. Esam Alqararah shared UNIDO’s vision on energy and environment and the efforts UNIDO is making to promote innovation in clean technologies in Pakistan. He also narrated the main achievements and honours of the Cleantech program and described its main facts. Noteworthy among them was the fact that Pakistan has got a highest number of applicants in the world.

Further, Mr. Alqararah elaborated why this project is unique and what benefits this project is offering to the innovators of Cleantech and also the efforts which the team are doing to make this program sustainable and making the whole ecosystem more conducive for the entrepreneurial activities in the field of Cleantech. Mr. Alqararah pinpointed the importance of innovation for the sustainable development of Pakistan and reiterated UNIDO’s commitment to further strengthen the cooperation with MoCC and ICCI.

The GCIP programme seeks to create new industries that bring about new jobs, prosperity, simultaneously saving the environment. The program has a special feature to ensure gender mainstreaming. ICCI also distributed certificates among the winners, and runner ups and also to the Most Promising Woman-Lead Team.

The ceremony was attended by more than 80 high-ranking officials and dignitaries, Cleantech partners and stakeholders, international donor agencies, and representatives from government institutions, industries, a large number of media persons and also the GCIP-Pakistan 2014 and 2015 Alumni.

For more information, contact:
Khalid Chaudhry
Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI)
Chamber House, Aiwan-e-Sanat-o-Tijarat Road,
Mauve Area, G-8/1,
Islamabad, Pakistan
Tel: +9251 225 0526, 2253145, 8432676
Fax: +9251 225 2950
Email: icci@brain.net.pk
Website: www.icci.com.pk