MENA Regional SME Development and Tech Transfer Conference

May 10, 2017 - May 12, 2017

On May 10-12, 2017, CLDP will hold a regional program with participants from Kuwait, Bahrain, Morocco, and Azerbaijan in Casablanca, Morocco to discuss best practices in promoting SME development.  The regional program will include participants from both the private sector, including incubators and accelerator programs, and government agencies whose aim is to promote entrepreneurship through diverse sectors.  Topics for the program will include best practices in building innovation ecosystems, facilitating effective and efficient business registration procedures, discussing benefits of promoting technology transfer at local universities as a mechanism to promote start-ups and spin-offs, and developing effective government assistance programs to small businesses.  Laws making business registration accessible, transparent and efficient through the lens of the World Bank Doing Business indicators will also be discussed by panelists and experts. Through a regional approach with countries from the Gulf, North Africa and the Caucuses, the program will benefit from participants sharing best practices and experiences in promoting SME development.  Furthermore, promotion of technology transfer by U.S. experts will focus on engagement with local universities to develop a legal and business framework in consideration of effective intellectual property laws and business registration procedures.  Experts from the Small Business Administration (SBA) will also share experiences on successful government assistant programs in the United States, including one-stop-shop programs and financial incentive programs.  An expert recommended by the United States Patents and Trademark Office (USPTO) will also discuss the importance of effective intellectual property laws that protect rights-holders and promote innovation and technology. Furthermore, by engaging experts from Stanford University’s Office of Technology Licensing (OTL), CLDP will introduce participants to commercialization of technology and ecosystem creation through university centers.  

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