Berytech celebrates two years of the Agrytech program

The Agrytech program has been a catalyst for entrepreneurs to establish companies and has helped in creating jobs and spreading the scale of Lebanese innovation internationally.
by Tala Ramadan

29 August 2019 | 13:36

Source: by Annahar

  • by Tala Ramadan
  • Source: Annahar
  • Last update: 29 August 2019 | 13:36

This photo shows the Argytech program team. (Annahar Photo)

BEIRUT: The Agrytech program is part of a larger stabilization contribution of 86 Million EUR aimed at reinforcing Lebanon’s resilience by the Netherlands, which aims to provide a better future for the Lebanese youth, with the emphasis on economic growth and job creation.

Berytech held a ceremony on Wednesday at the Sursock Museum to celebrate the achievements made within the two years of the program.

During the ceremony, Chairman and CEO of Berytech Maroun Chammas announced the results the program has achieved: 200 applicants, 51 startups admitted, 16 startups graduated, 35 workshops, 15 competitions organized, and $734k startup funding, and 77 jobs created.

He also announced that the program is being renewed through the funding of the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon.

The program has also activated entrepreneurship and industrial innovation with four pillars: the Accelerator, the Cluster, the Resources Platform, and the Berytech Fabrication Lab. It has been a catalyst for entrepreneurs to establish companies and has helped in creating jobs and spreading the scale of Lebanese innovation internationally.

“We're very happy that we can continue this cooperation, we strongly support youth entrepreneurship. In this economic situation, we need innovation, we need people with creative ideas but we also need governance,” said Netherlands Ambassador to Lebanon Jan Waltmans.

During the ceremony, the graduated startups of the two batches of Agrytech Hackathons were also celebrated.

The Agrytech Hackathon is annually organized by Berytech in partnership with Source Institute, international developers of entrepreneurship programs, and with the full support of the Embassy of Netherlands in Lebanon.

Agri-istic Solutions, a startup that aims to replace chemical weed control with one-shot laser technology, won first place at the 2019 Agrytech Hackathon event last weekend, which was organized by Berytech under the Agrytech program and supported by the Embassy of the Netherlands in Lebanon.

During this year’s edition, the team of the Agrytech Program collaborated with players in the Lebanese agri-food sector to discuss the challenges they're facing that require innovative solutions. These challenges then were proposed to the participants, as each chose one to work on.

The 4-day Hackathon was held at Berytech’s Innovation Park in Mar Roukoz and gave its participants an opportunity to develop their prototypes and agri-food solutions using technologies like the Internet of Things, Big Data, and Artificial Intelligence.

Throughout the hackathon, the participants received the assistance of technical, industry and business experts, as well as the support of Source Institute with their international experts, and had access to the tools and hardware prototyping facility of the Berytech Fab Lab.

The teams used different techniques to tackle challenges under the following four themes:

Farming: In this category, participants were asked to find solutions to solve challenges from the supply of products and materials to farming practices, including harvesting.

Postharvest: In this category, participants were asked to find solutions to solve challenges from the time the products are harvested/collected until they reach processors or consumers.

Manufacturing – processing: In this category, participants were asked to find solutions to solve challenges from the time the products reach processors through different transformation activities, including packaging and distribution.

Market place: In this category, participants were asked to find solutions to solve challenges online or offline in marketing, distribution, and exports of the products.

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