According to a press release, the event aimed at creating awareness on the need of clean technology innovations and connecting winners with venture capitalists from Pakistan by showcasing their technologies through media.
“GCIP-Pakistan has supported fifty-five SMEs and Startups in Pakistan through a programme of extensive mentoring, training, access to investors and showcasing opportunities in 2015 alone”, the release read.
The program culminated in five winners being awarded prize money ranging from US$ 15,000 to US$ 20,000, and being given the opportunity to participate in the Cleantech Open Global Forum held in Silicon Valley, USA.
The release stated that the visit was of prime significance for the participants in terms of increasing their exposure and connecting with investors to mobilize capital from international investors and venture capital firms. One of the national runner-up teams, TAWANAI which has developed an agricultural dry bio-waste gasifier was additionally recognized as the best 2015 GCIP Runner-up in the Waste-to-Energy category at the global level.
“GCIP for SMEs and startups, simultaneously implemented in Armenia, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Turkey and South Africa, aims to enhance emerging clean technology startups and strengthen policy frameworks for innovation. The program takes a competition and accelerator approach to select the best cleantech entrepreneurs and support them to develop their innovative technologies into full-fledged market-ready products”, the release read.
The chief guest of the ceremony, Mr. Shoaib Mir, Additional Secretary of the Ministry of Climate Change (MoCC), appreciated the efforts of UNIDO and highlighted the importance of innovation in rapidly changing world. He stressed the need to develop a culture of innovation in Pakistan for economic development and compared the classical concepts with the modern version of innovation. He reiterated to all the innovators that there is no limit to innovation and even the most informed and updated person cannot predict which innovations will be thriving in the coming years, the release stated.
Atif Ikram Sheikh, President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) highlighted various initiatives of Islamabad Chamber, undertaken jointly with UNIDO, to support entrepreneurship, with a particular focus on youth and women. 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 long run.
UNIDO Representative, Esam Alqararah, addressing the ceremony, elaborated uniqueness of the program to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem for fostering innovations in clean technologies and its impact on overall economy of the country. He highlighted importance of the programme in creating new industries, that bring about new jobs, prosperity, but simultaneously saving the environment.
At the end, ICCI distributed certificates among the winners, runner ups and the Most Promising Woman-Lead Team. The ceremony was attended by more than 80 high-ranking officials and dignitaries, cleantech winners and alumni, partners and stakeholders, UN agencies, international donor agencies, representatives from government institutions and industries along with a large number of media companies.