Zoom & Learn - 6th event laptop

Zoom In & Learn: Best practices in times of crisis

Zoom & Learn - 6th event laptop

In this edition of the Zoom In & Learn series, QOOT Cluster brought together Cluster members to share their best practices in times of crisis.

Best practice tools by QOOT Cluster members

QOOT Cluster invited three guest speakers to share their best practice tools in times of crisis. The speakers were Lina Zgheib - Seed Line manager at Robinson Agri, Valerie Zakka - Founder of Zakka Technologies, and Lucien Kazzi - Managing partner at Teknologix S.A.R.L.

Hydroponic and hybrid seeds

Lina Zgheib explained the importance of the hybrid seeds having higher yield, better taste, tolerance to diseases, longer shelf life, and resistant to draught. Focusing on the challenges faced in the agriculture sector from feeding growing population, urbanization, climate change, soil depletion, and limited resources to water, Lina presented the importance of the hydroponic system and nutrient film technique as it provides higher production, less disease pressure, soil disinfection, less chemicals used thus healthier products among many others. Lina ended her intervention with “Stay safe and positive, eat healthy and invest wisely in agriculture”.

Smart Machine Investments: Profitability & Safety Drivers

Valerie Zakka, founder of Zakka technologies, presented the different types of machinery existing in the market to facilitate the processes in the agri-food sector. She emphasized that machines should be considered as an investment rather than a cost. She listed the advantages of acquiring equipment such as the ability to innovate and offer new products to mature markets, increasing accuracy in terms of weight and volumes, and improving quality control.

From Classic Techniques To Robotics Automation As A Survival Tool In Times Of Crisis

Lucien Kazzi, presented the automation trends highlighting the fields of application where automation plays a significant role in reducing losses, increasing profitability, and improving the product quality. When looking at the trends in automation, the first level is to look at the field level, then move to the control level, supervisory level, planning level to arrive to the management level (ERP).

Watch the webinar here.


Surviving and Thriving in Times of Adversity

Photo courtesy of The Good Thymes


The first half of 2020 has brought tremendous challenges to Lebanese businesses. Lebanon has suffered its worst economic and financial crisis since the civil war, resulting in recession, the plummeting of the Lebanese Pound value, and rising inflation. The situation was aggravated as the country went into complete lockdown for almost 4 months to reduce the spread of Coronavirus.

How have small businesses survived the last 6 months?

Berytech reached out to agri-food startups and small enterprises that are members of the QOOT Cluster to understand how they dealt with this snowball of challenges, getting a closer look at how they diverted their strategies and diversified their offering to survive this period and thrive in the quick-changing world order.

From improving efficiency, innovating new products, growing exports and online sales, and focusing on the community, read about how the QOOT Cluster members survived and thrived during these times of adversity.

Read the full article on Berytech's blog section here.



Zoom In & Learn: Innovation and Resilience in Times of Crisis

In its third Zoom In & Learn edition, QOOT Cluster brought together Lebanese enterprises and SMEs, knowledge providers and support institutions to learn about joint R&D projects, shedding light on consumer behavior in the current economic situation.


This third edition shed light about innovation and resilience in times of crisis.


Expert speaker Dr. Mohab Anis - professor at the American university of Cairo, founder and CEO of Innovety, took the audience through the principles of innovation in the pandemic era.

Patrick Atmeh - the Job Creation Operations Manager at the Economic and Social Fund for Development (ESFD), discussed funding opportunities that are provided by ESFD.

Zeina Daccache-  MA in clinical psychology and registered drama therapist, took the audience through the ‘Hero’s Journey’ discussing resilience in times of crisis.


Innovating your business in the new normal

Dr. Anis explained how, during the pandemic, he was part of a global think tank to identify the directions that businesses needed to work on during and most importantly post the COVID-19 pandemic. With the social distancing measures taken to flatten the curve, a slowdown affected all types of businesses and operations. Despite closures and bankruptcies catalyzed by the pandemic, it is very important for businesses to get back into action fast.

Getting over customer fears is the first step in establishing trust. Solutions have been imposed by governments including distancing in public spaces which might not be practical, culturally sensitive nor economical. Dr. Anis offered 12 innovative design principles beyond the obvious “Six Feet Apart” solutions and walked the audience through six of them.

The first principle is based on the concept of de-centralized operations, which means transferring part of the operation elsewhere to reduce congestion. The second one is a DIY (Do It Yourself) approach that provides people with the necessary tools to take part in the development of goods, services or activities. A third principle is adding barriers between customers and servers. Another principle is time segmentation where internal operations and people are separated into time units to offer the services. Another powerful concept is the touchless experience where companies eliminate the element of touch that individuals go through when coming in contact with objects, or with each other. And finally, Dr. Anis discussed a sixth principle of resorting to digital platforms or virtual solutions to replace or complement physical offerings.

These are all models that companies need to think about when working on products or services to evolve post-pandemic. Once going back to work, each company needs to check its client’s journey within the company to identify health risk gaps and tackle them with new solutions.


Funding Opportunities

Patrick Atmeh is a UNDP Consultant, assisting the ‘Economic & Social Fund for Development’ (ESFD) in providing financial and non-financial services to SMEs since 2011. For the past 8 years, Patrick has been delivering financial advisory to small entrepreneurs, helping them applying for loans with commercial banks.

Atmeh introduced the ESFD to the audience as a governmental body who works in the poverty alleviation in Lebanon through the creation of job opportunities and improving living conditions in disadvantaged areas. The job creation component aims at creating jobs and insuring inclusion through the provision of financial and non-financial services. It provides a set of loans provided to targeted SMEs. Loans amount up to LBP 75 Million, with repayment period up to 5 years and a grace period up to 1 year and a subsidized interest rate at 7.65%. Beneficiaries include SME owners in Syrian refugee hosting communities, with projects in high job creation potential emphasizing on women entrepreneurs.


Resilience in Times of Crisis

Zeina Daccache, through the NPO she founded in 2007, Catharsis-Lebanese Center for Drama Therapy, brought the innovative tools of drama therapy to Lebanon. In her intervention, she addressed people who are experiencing anxiety from the difficult times the country is going through.

She explained the Hero’s Journey a technique she has been using to help people deal with difficult situations. The technique helps people who don’t have control over their situation requiring them to write about 4 persons in their lives. The first is a person from their childhood that they admire and associate 3 qualities to them. The second is to think of a hero from their adulthood, and also write down 3 qualities about them. The third person they need to think about is a world-famous person, and also write down 3 qualities about them. Finally, the person needs to think of his/her preferred animal and write down what they enjoy or relate to in them.

With that the person ends up with 12 qualities and the concept of the Hero’s Journey indicates that the person already possesses these qualities.

“Just because I am capable of doing this projection means that I am capable of seeing these qualities in other people but not in myself. If you don’t believe that you own these qualities, pretend that these 4 people are around you and start a conversation with them. Ask them questions and try answering them from their point of view. You will slowly realize that these qualities that you have projected are inherent to you and they will help you cope during times of crisis,” explained Daccache.

Watch the webinar here.

Food Safety, Everyone's Business


The second World Food Safety Day (WFSD) is celebrated on June 7, 2020 to draw attention and inspire action to help prevent, detect and manage food-borne risks, contributing to food security, human health, economic prosperity, agriculture, market access, tourism and sustainable development.

Under the theme “food safety, everyone’s business”, the action-oriented campaign promotes global food safety awareness and calls upon countries and decision makers, the private sector, civil society, UN organizations and the general public to take action.

Food safety is a shared responsibility between governments, producers and consumers. Everybody has a role to play from farm to table to ensure the food we consume is safe and will not cause damages to our health. Through the World Food Safety Day, WHO pursues its efforts to mainstream food safety in the public agenda and reduce the burden of foodborne diseases globally.[1]

For the occasion, Nadine Khoury – COO of Robinson Agri and President of the QOOT Agri-Food Innovation Cluster in Lebanon, writes a blog for Berytech on the best practices they have been implementing to help observe the principles of food safety throughout the chain of agricultural production in Lebanon.

Read the full article on Berytech's blog section here.


[1] https://www.who.int/news-room/campaigns/world-food-safety-day/2020

Lean Methodology

QOOT Cluster organizes a session on Lean Management

Lean MethodologyParticipants from 12 different companies members in the QOOT Cluster - including Difco, Heineken, Teknologix, Zakka technologies, Robinson agri, arc en ciel, Karma, Rigino, SMLC, Cave des Ours, Café Abi Nasr and Tanmia, took part in a virtual training provided by Dany Elias to learn about surviving the crisis by adopting LEAN management. 

Passionate about the LEAN culture, Dany established Sparkers Solutions in 2017 with the mission to spread it in the region and help diversified companies in Lebanon become more efficient.

In his training Dany explained the fundamentals of the LEAN methodology that allows companies to do more with less - less time, inventory, space, people and money. It is about speed and “getting it right the first time” and most importantly it is about eliminating various forms of waste from the process.

His practical examples covered the advantages of applying a LEAN methodology in times of crisis in reducing process lead time, increase overall efficiency, improving quality, becoming more flexible in reacting to change and enhancing costumer satisfaction.

Dany’s tips to the attendees to survive the crisis covered keeping focused on the value of customers including old, new or potential. He explained that one needs to be extremely flexible in the process to meet the changing value, fast in delivering products/services, optimize the usage of resources and most importantly focus on people, people and people.

Zoom & Learn April

Collaboration as a key to overcome the economic situation

Zoom & Learn April

In its second Zoom In & Learn edition, QOOT Cluster brought together Lebanese enterprises and SMEs, knowledge providers and support institutions to learn about joint R&D projects, shedding light on consumer behavior in the current economic situation.

Collaboration to overcome the economic situation

Due to the current economic crisis as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, Lebanon is facing one the most critical economic situations ever experienced leading to businesses suffering and struggling to survive. QOOT Cluster brings together Lebanese MSMEs and large companies working on innovation in the agri-food value chain, to collaborate, support and work together to overcome the situation and push the sector forward.

Youssef Rifai, Vice-President of QOOT Cluster and Operation Manager at A Rifai Roastery, emphasizes on the importance of innovating in the sector and collaborate with different players in the industry, “QOOT Cluster is facilitating matchmaking between companies and is partnering with the academic institutions in Lebanon such AUB, USJ, University of Balamand and AUST to allow the members as well as the academia to benefit from each other in nurturing the birth of new projects.”

Rifai added: “Sharing ideas, best practices and new processes, linking these different dots and pushing for new ways to help the sector in general can only push and promote Lebanese agri-food products locally and internationally. Innovation is the drive and fuel that will bring higher efficiency, higher output and maintain, if not enhance, the quality”.

To do so, QOOT Cluster invited three guest speakers to discuss the importance of a collaborative strategy to overcome the current situation in Lebanon. The speakers included Dr. Rodrigue Balaa – Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering Technology at the Issam Fares Faculty of Technology of the University of Balamand, Jimmy Ghazal – Founder of MindLab and Senior Executive Advisor at Le Charcutier supermarket chain, and Nadine Tawk – SME and Partnerships Manager at Palladium, LEEP UKAID-funded program.

The interventions ended with a great exchange, where the different academics and professionals discussed the future steps to strengthen the collaboration between academia and the private sector.

Industry-academia partnerships: The Role of Academia in supporting the Lebanese agri-food industry

Dr. Rodrigue Balaa emphasized on the importance of collaboration between the sector and academia to accelerate innovation bringing many examples on how, through QOOT Cluster, the University of Balamand had collaborated on applied research projects with two QOOT Cluster members: SMLC, and Brasserie Almaza.

Dr. Balaa presented a Quintuple innovation helix framework done in collaboration with Industry through QOOT Cluster member Robinson Agri, with Academia (University of Balamand-IFFT), with the Civil society (FairTrade Lebanon-cooperatives), and the Public Sector (Municipalities) within the Knowledge Economy.

Dr. Balaa stressed on the fact that Lebanese industries should turn the challenges, from the complex financial situation Lebanon is facing due to local monetary devaluation to the consequences of the pandemic on the sector, into opportunities, by pushing Lebanese companies to fill the need of the market, start exporting, and start producing locally.

He ended his presentation by stressing on the importance of increasing collaboration between municipalities and local communities, adapting the academic curricula to prepare graduates for the highest level of self-sufficiency within the framework of a circular economy, and supporting applied research to create innovative solutions for local agri-food challenges.

QOOT Cluster signed several Memoranda of Understanding with major universities in Lebanon, one of them being the University of Balamand. Read more 

Consumers Behavior In Light Of The Current Situation

After presenting the importance of the relation between academia and industry, Jimmy Ghazal presented the consumer behavior changes due to the current situation.

The COVID-19 virus has affected consumer behavior, turning the mobile way of life into an astatic life. Consumers are lacking mobility and dependency, and to survive, companies need to adapt to these changes.

Ghazal commented, "You might need to reduce several items of your brand and build on the two most performing ones. Now, it is all about survival and not the ego of your brand. The ego of your brand can be regenerated, but your company can’t be”. He stressed on the importance of maintaining the reputation of the brand and finding ways to continue bonding with customers, focusing on the rise of creativity during the lockdowns. People are experimenting and finding ways to do things themselves.

Lebanon is used to being dependent on imports, which is affecting the prices with the monetary devaluation, Ghazal stressed on the importance of turning such challenges into opportunities by starting to produce locally and export. He explained that even if companies managed to build a loyalty bond with their customers, the new behavior is turning towards “availability as a new need” and “Cheaper is better”, especially in Lebanon where not only were the Lebanese affected by the economic crisis, but by the pandemic as well.

Ghazal advised the attendees to lead their team with certainty and by example, to be able to move forward. The key, he explains, is to communicate effectively, boldly, clearly, honestly, and compassionately, with the team. He also presented case studies of international companies that managed to turn challenges into opportunities by changing their initial offerings.

Some companies will not survive, because first, they can’t adapt to the situation, or they are too slow to react, or cannot afford the process. He stressed that two of the three factors are controllable: “As businesses, we need to be prepared for the after COVID-19, adapt to the situation and not be too slow to react to be able to survive.”

SME Grants Opportunities: LEEP- UKaid

In order to support SMEs, QOOT Cluster invited Nadine Tawk from the Lebanon Enterprise and Employment Program to present LEEP-UKaid to give an overview of how SMEs tocanbenefit from the program and overcome the current economic situation.

LEEP focuses on creating sustainable jobs through SME growth, targeting SMES of any sectors through matching grant funds, technical assistance based on need assessment, or wage subsidies.

To read more about the LEEP program visit www.leeplebanon.com.

R&D partnerships: an approach to accelerate innovation

QOOT Cluster brought together Lebanese enterprises and SMEs, knowledge providers and support institutions to learn about joint R&D projects, shedding light on the economy within the current crisis situation. More than 60 professionals joined QOOT Cluster’s Zoom In & Learn webinar to discuss different initiatives, bringing together a collaborative approach in the agri-food sector.

QOOT Cluster's Crucial Role

Today, more than ever, QOOT Cluster's role is crucial in being the medium between the different stakeholders in the agri-food sector, and bringing together Academia, Research Centers, and the Private Sector to work and solve common challenges.

Nadine Khoury, President of QOOT Cluster and COO at Robinson Agri, emphasized the importance of the cluster in times of crisis: “When we first launched QOOT Cluster we had in mind two main goals : promoting Lebanon’s agri-food sector by encouraging innovation and sustainability, but also bringing Lebanese agri-food stakeholder together so we can work and develop. That is exactly what a cluster does, helping, supporting, and sharing."

Stressing on the importance of the agri-food sector in time of crisis, she added: “In addition to health concerns, we should consider the basic necessities such as water, electricity, fuel, Internet… and above all food. Our food security is by far the most critical, we should make sure that our communities are not disrupted by unforeseen events, people should not starve. So, now more than ever we are aware of the role that our cluster must play. It would be impossible to survive unless we collaborate and innovate. As we give tribute to doctors and nurses in hospitals fighting for the life of patients with COVID-19 virus, we should include food suppliers who despite the risk, are working daily to bring food to our plates.”

Industry-academic partnerships: an approach to accelerate innovation

The webinar combined speakers from the professionals and academia, to present and discuss the importance of collaborative strategy to overcome the actual situation in Lebanon. The speakers included Dr. Rabi Mohtar - Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at the American University of Beirut, Antoine Abou Samra - Senior Business Consultant of the Euro Lebanese Center for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) and the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI), and Huda Saigh - Program manager at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD).

Dr. Rabi Mohtar discussed the importance of accelerating innovation through industry-academic partnerships. He insisted on the importance of having an integrated strategy to bring the sector forward, partnering the government, industry, and academia to accelerate innovations and bring the sector forward to reduce resource gaps.
Antoine Abou Samra presented how ELCIM has been providing to help the sector, they have been providing over 350 companies technical assistance, and 600 business assessment missions. ELCIM has been financing support program through the Innovation Voucher Program and ESSP Program.

Moreover, Berytech has partnered with ELCIM to mobilize academia and research institutions to work on commercializing Lebanese intellectual property for the benefit of different sectors and to advance the Knowledge Economy. The goal is to create opportunities for innovators through different pillars including valorizing Lebanese research to commercialization and industry advancement. Four grants of $25,000 each are available through the ACT Smart Innovation Hub for projects innovating in the agri-food or cleantech sector. Read more

Huda Saigh presented the technical assistance opportunities available through EBRD, as they are helping small and medium-sized businesses access the know-how they need to grow. She explained how they can help the agri-food accompanies to support them improve their decision-making, expand to new markets, qualify for new certifications, among others.

The interventions ended with a great exchange, where the different academics and professionals discussed the future steps to strengthen the collaboration between academia and the private sector.

QOOT Cluster announces newly appointed board members

QOOT Cluster announced the newly appointed board members for the next two years. The board will be meeting regularly to ensure and validate the strategy of QOOT Cluster, meeting with different stakeholders, and recruiting potential new members working on innovation in the agri-food sector.

Nadine Khoury, the president of QOOT Cluster board and COO at Robinson Agri stated, "We, the founding members of QOOT Cluster, worked on strengthening and developing collaboration across the agricultural stakeholders from academia to the private sector, Industry, financial institutions and the Government. Participating in the launching of this cluster was a dream coming true, focusing on very important values, how to cooperate and not compete."

She added: "It is about the evolution of  Lebanese Agriculture and Food industry, about how we can brand our tasty healthy fresh produce and food, about innovation and the introduction of new techniques, and about fulfilling Corporate Social Responsibility. QOOT Cluster is the platform which will eventually play an important role in building a greener, more innovative, more cooperative and more effective economy."

The newly appointed board members include:

Nadine Khoury | President of the board, and COO at Robinson Agri

After graduating in 1995 with a B.S. in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Nadine Khoury went to the Kingdom of the Netherlands for a six months training before launching her roses and colored pepper project.
Equipped with an important operational experience, she started working at Robinson Agri, the company founded by her father Sami El Khoury. Armed with a solid belief in the potential of Lebanese Agriculture with the help of a highly specialized team, Nadine ascended the role of COO, directly contributing to the expansion of the Greenhouse & Seed businesses of Robinson Agri, and the establishment of Agrigrow - the professional plant nursery founded in partnership with Dutch company Grow Group, an international front runner and specialist in grafting vegetable plants.
Her focus on innovation pushed Robinson Agri to the forefront of advancing agriculture in Lebanon. Not stopping at agriculture, Nadine worked on the establishment of Elysee WISE in joint venture with Elysee - Cyprus, a factory for irrigation and potable water PE pipes and is actively heading its Business Development Unit.
Over the course of her career, Nadine has served as a member in different professional associations like LDBA, the Association of Lebanese Industrialists and Byblos Industrialists Assembly, and recently as board member in WLC and in Agrytech Program, also as the President of QOOT Agri-Food Innovation Cluster.

Youssef Rifai | Vice president of the board, and Operation Manager at Alrifai

As the operation manager at Alrifai, Youssef leads, trains, and develops the team serving the customers at the retail stores; he also coordinates with purchasing and manufacturing to ensure products availability including working with marketing to develop new products.

Paul Eid | Treasurer of the board, and Co-Founder and CFO of 209 Lebanese Wine

Paul Eid is a financial expert with more than 25 years of experience in Strategy and Financial Engineering, including but not limited to budgeting and planning, banking relations, fiscal & legal relations as well as running shared services units in the MENA region.
Paul contributed to the drafting of different fiscal regulations with the Lebanese Ministry of Finance Authorities mainly on the VAT front.
As a Co-Founder and CFO of 209 Lebanese Wine, Paul leads on the Financial Strategy and Operations of the company. He is also partnering and contributing in the financial management of different successful startups.
Paul translated his experience into coaching and training modules with local and regional accelerators such as Smart ESA Business School and CEWA middle East. He holds a B.S. in Banking and Finance and a master’s degree in Business Administration.

Hilbert Van der Werf | Supply Chain Manager at Brasserie Almaza

Hilbert Van der Werf held several positions at Heineken in the Kingdom of The Netherlands, DR Congo and Ethiopia before settling in Lebanon as the Supply Chain manager at Brasserie Almaza in January 2019.
His main expertise lies in brewing, quality, people and organizational development, and continuous improvement.
Hilbert studied Food Quality Management at Wageningen University from 2002-2008, at the time the Food Valley initiative started there.

Nabil Shuman | General Manager of Agriplus Offshore

Nabil Shuman has extensive experience in Management, Marketing, R&D, and Business Development in the Agri-food industry. He has held several managerial positions in poultry integrations in Lebanon, Yemen, and Sudan, and has served on the board of several institutions in Lebanon and abroad. Currently, he is the General Manager of Agriplus Offshore and the Chairman of the board of Brands Holding.

Rana Abdou | Agriculture Program Manager at Arcenciel

Rana Abdou is an agricultural engineer specialized in Environmental Engineering. After her graduation in 2012 from the Lebanese University, she went to Greece to undertake a 2-year Master of Science program at the Mediterranean agronomic Institute of Chania (MAICH), focusing on Sustainable Agriculture.
After coming back to Lebanon in 2014, she started working with Arcenciel at the Domaine of Taanayel as project coordinator within different projects such as hydroponic, postharvest, composting, etc. In 2015 she moved to Arcenciel’s headquarters as the Agriculture program manager.
Her main expertise lies in agricultural production, agro-food production, water quality, program development, process improvement, strategic planning, quality assurance, project management and organizational development.

Valerie Zakka | Founder of Zakka Technologies

Born into the world of packaging machinery, Valerie has since an early age developed a love for industry and trade, working alongside her late father for many years learning the challenges and requirements of serving customers in the various industrial fields.
Today, managing her own company - Zakka Technologies, Valerie offers innovative packaging and processing solutions and technical service, always finding ways to bring greater value to her customers in an increasingly competitive marketplace.

QOOT Cluster opens adherence eligibility to Associate Members

QOOT Cluster has gathered, over the past year, successful Lebanese SMEs and large companies working on innovations in the agri-food sector to collaborate, promote and develop smarter solutions in the sector. Adherence to the cluster is on a membership eligibility basis.

QOOT Cluster has now announced adherence eligibility to Associate Members allowing companies providing services, expertise, or knowledge for the agri-food businesses focusing mainly on innovation to join. Service providers eligible to join as associate members include among others, consultancy firms, law firms, laboratory for food safety analysis, financing and auditing firms, insurance companies, certification bodies, as well as marketing and communication firms.

Associate Members will provide support and guidance to the cluster members, and will have the opportunity to deliver workshops and trainings within their respective expertise.

QOOT Members are invited to the meetings and events organized by QOOT Cluster as well as receiving discount voucher to the paid workshops and events. Being an Associate Member will allow the company to stay up-to-date about new development projects in the agri-food sector, having priority to work on the agri-food members development projects, having a company profile on the QOOT Cluster website, benefiting from B2B meetings organized by QOOT Cluster, and the opportunity to meet potential investors and business partners via Berytech's international connections.

The yearly associate membership fee varies per company’s size. It is $350/year for small companies (1 to 10 employees), $650/year for medium-sized companies (11 to 50 employees), and $1,000/year for large companies (more than 50 employees).


Become an associate member of QOOT Cluster by clicking here.

QOOT Cluster signs R&D agreements with universities of Lebanon

As part of its mission to bring together MSMEs, multinational companies, knowledge providers, support institutions, and investment entities to collaboratively catalyze and innovate in the agri-food sector in Lebanon, QOOT Cluster signed 4 Memoranda of Understanding with 4 different universities: American University of Beirut - Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, University of Balamand, American University of Science and Technology, and University Saint Joseph - ESIAM.

Dean of Faculty of Engineering and Vice President for Internationalization & Engagement at the University of Balamand, Professor Rami Abboud remarked that such collaborative work with the industrial partners, especially those who emphasize innovation and R&D, is key to advance the competitive advantage of their graduates. [1]

These collaborations between the agri-food economic players mainly private sector, and academia and the research institutions, will allow to accelerate the innovation in all areas of the agri-food sector, and help put Lebanon back on the global agri-food innovation map. Indeed, the QOOT Cluster as well as the universities will work jointly to raise awareness amongst Agri-food sector players on the research and development capabilities of the universities and emphasize on the necessities of conducting R&D activities for better competitiveness and sustainability.

QOOT Cluster will be providing different challenges and needs of its different member’s, allowing the final year projects be based on the local and regional market needs while getting feedback from the cluster stakeholders.


[1] Source: Balamand University News