OpenFactory – Supporting innovation platforms and generating socioeconomic and open access opportunities for enterprise, research and innovators’ ecosystem in Egypt

GEOGRAPHIC AREA: MENA (Middle East and North Africa), Egypt

FIELD OF INTERVENTION: Sustainable Development, Circular Economy, Digitalization, Decent Work

SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT: The project aims at creating an entrepreneurial ecosystem promoting innovative-based processes and products within the Egyptian manufacturing sector and drives it towards more sustainable business models, production processes and governance systems. The activities will improve in particular the production systems of the textile and leather sectors by innovating their value chain, facilitating the introduction of innovative and sustainable business solutions and steering the development of new ECO-ICT products and processes, establishing open-innovative platforms between entrepreneurs, innovators, researchers and policy makers and promoting decent job opportunities.

OBJECTIVES: ● Promoting the Egyptian business ecosystem’s shift to a fair and sustainable development model. ●Supporting the innovative development of the SMEs ecosystem in the leather and textile sector, aiming at increasing employability and income-generating opportunities. ● Strengthening the professional skills of technicians and entrepreneurs towards sustainable/digital-led industrial production processes and models. ● Create new job opportunities according to the criteria of Agenda 2030 (SDG8). ● Defining new industrial policies in terms of research development, circular economy, digitalization and quality jobs. ● Fostering alliances and partnerships between public and private actors, research centers and universities.

ACTIVITIES:

  • Establishment of public and private multi-stakeholder platform aiming at boosting policies for the innovation and sustainability of the Egyptian manufacturing system as well as offering new forms of decent work.
  • Production of research reports relating labor market and new industrial trends.
  • Organization of pilot-training courses aimed at innovators, researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs operating in the textile/clothing and leather sectors and inspired by digitalization/green technology patterns.
  • Development of entrepreneurial skills and start-ups in the target sectors selected by carrying out activities within industrial incubators and accelerators.
  • Introduction of an e-commerce platform for the promotion and sale of textile and leather products realized by adopting eco-sustainable-oriented processes.
  • Promotion and dissemination of results through meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences envisaging the active engagement of local, national and international actors.

RESULTS:

  • Enhanced the collaboration between public and private actors intended to define and boost innovative policies for research, social economic development and decent work.
  • Improved and refined technical and professional skills of operators, SMEs representatives and aspiring entrepreneurs in the manufacturing industry.
  • Collected new data and information on the labor market and the Egyptian socio-economic context with particular focus on innovation/sustainability-based systems and models related to the textile and leather sector.
  • Acquired new entrepreneurial skills by young innovators and makers active in the manufacturing sector.
  • Installed an e-commerce platform for bolstering the delivery of textile/clothing and leather products obtained by adopting eco-sustainable-led schemes.
  • Built and reinforced networks at local/national/international level which spur to carry out new actions for research, development and innovation advancements in the field of industrial processes (manufacturing sector).

PARTNERSHIP: Lead applicant: Cairo University. Partners: Progetto Sud, Industrial Modernization Center (IMC), National Research Center (NRC), Egyptian Chamber of Textile Industries; Egyptian Chamber of Leather Industries; Link Campus University; Sercam Advisory

DURATION: 2020 – 2023 (36 months)

DONOR: European Commission – DG Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (DG NEAR) – Project No. ENI/2019/413-550