ArabNet Conference 2017

The Beirut Research and Innovation Center participated in the 2017 ArabNet Conference held on February 22, 2017 at the Hilton Beirut Habtoor Grand Hotel.

BRIC Director, Dr. Hassan Ghaziri, participated as a panelist as part of the Entrepreneurship Track of the conference.


In the U.S., federal funding for research and development (R&D) - which represents about 2% of GDP expenditures - has been key to the development of some of today’s most disruptive technologies, including smartphones and autonomous vehicles. In MENA, funding for R&D has been increasing in some countries like UAE (e.g. space programs), Saudi (e.g. renewable energy), and Qatar (e.g. technology for impaired accessibility) but remaining stagnant in others. And while the number of investors in MENA’s tech startups grows, they are still somewhat skeptical of the prospects for unique disruptive technologies that can come out of the market with such scarce funding for R&D.

The panel addressed state of R&D in Lebanon and MENA, highlighting the strategies and policies needed to stimulate innovative research that can be commercialized.


- Dr. Nicolas Rouhana, General Manager at IM Capital


- Dr. Hassan Ghaziri, Founding Director at Beirut Research and Innovation Center

- Dr. Sari Hanafi, Professor and Chair at Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Media Studies - AUB

- Elie Akhrass, Head of International Research Center at UK Lebanon Tech Hub