Thu, Oct 01, 2020

Cluster-Driven Circular Economy

Virtual Agri-Food 2020 - Cluster-Driven - 1200x628px

QOOT Cluster, as part of the Virtual Agri-Food Innovation Day 2020 #AFID2020, is organizing a panel on Cluster-Driven Circular Economy: Will the financial crisis reinforce the implementation of circular economy principles? What is the role of clusters in catalyzing it?

Event Details

Date: Thursday, October 1, 2020
Time: 3:30pm – 4:30pm
Topic: Cluster-Driven Circular Economy.

Around the world, clusters play a pivotal role in the recovery of ailing economies. They are key players that contribute collaboratively to the next normal. But how do clusters and collaborative initiatives help craft a new improved normal?

In this discussion led by QOOT, Lebanon’s Agri-Food Innovation Cluster, speakers from around the world will represent the breadth of the cluster ecosystem and offer opportunities to explore new strategies for transformation.

Hear voices from leading experts, take practical tips and connect with members and partners from the QOOT Cluster.

The panel will highlight how circular ambitions have been affected by the economic crisis and will make a better understanding on the role of clusters in the circular transition.


Nadim Abdo, Programs Director at Arcenciel


Nadim Abdo is the Programs Director at arcenciel, Lebanon’s largest independent social enterprise, operating in Sustainable Agriculture and Environment, Youth Empowerment, Social Support, Responsible Tourism, Mobility and Health. arcenciel was awarded “Social Enterprise of the Year” by the Schwab Foundation (2015) and the first laureate of the Takreem award (2010), among others.

Nadim worked as Sociologist and Urban Planner at the Town Planning Department of Solidere in Beirut. He is a board member of the Lebanese Federation of Youth Hostels, vice president of Ecolodge association, founding member of the Lebanese Social Entreprises association and board member of “Les Scouts du Liban”.

Nadim holds a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the American University of Beirut and an MSc in Regional and Urban Planning Studies from the London School of Economics and Political Sciences.

Lucia Seel, Member of European Cluster Expert Group of the European Commission


Lucia Seel has more than 16 years of experience in international innovation and cluster policies and cluster development/management.

In 2011 Lucia started her own consultancy, focusing on the development and/or management of European projects, support for international cooperation in the field of innovation and clustering, cultural and creative industries, training and international networking. Lucia is a well-known speaker and moderator at international conferences and workshops. She graduated from the Academy of Economic Sciences in Bucharest/Romania. She worked both for multinational companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi Centrade in Bucharest and Silhouette International in Linz/Austria (as area manager for South-East Asia and South Europe handling a sales budget of more than 30 Mio. Euro), as well as for small companies in Austria and public administration bodies in Austria and Romania.

Soha Atallah, Founder of Libanpack


Soha Atallah is an international industrial expert, with extensive experience in industrial development, packaging, marketing and food safety throughout the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia.

Over the past 20 years, she has provided packaging and labelling design services to more than 200 industrial companies around the world.

As a proactive player in Lebanese industry, she founded LibanPack, the Lebanese Packaging Centre, and has raised the bar on packaging development through the organization of Arab StarPack, a yearly regional competition for both professionals and students. She holds a Masters degree from the Lebanese American University, and has completed an executive course on Strategic Marketing Management at the Harvard Business School.

Hammam Samad, Executive Manager at Lama Foods


Hammam Samad is currently the Executive Strategist of Lama Foods in the Gulf region. He pursued his undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut, graduating with a Bachelor of Sciences in Chemical engineering and a minor in Chemistry, which was followed with a 1st Class Honors Masters Degree in Biopharmaceutical Engineering at University College Dublin, Ireland.

His endorsement into research, engineering, and sciences did not hinder his interest in economics and data analytics. To him, Data will be the world’s future oil.


Rodrigue Balaa, Chairperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at the Issam Fares Faculty of Technology


Dr. Rodrigue El Balaa holds a PhD. in Agricultural Engineering from the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine – Nancy – France. He is the Chaiperson of the Department of Agricultural Engineering Technology at the Issam Fares Faculty of Technology of the University of Balamand. He is an expert in Agricultural Value Chains and has been involved in and managed numerous studies and development projects funded by international donors.

Dr. El Balaa is die hard supporter of the quintuple innovation helix framework which involves an environment of collaboration between universities, industry, government, and civil society within a knowledge economy. In this framework, he has been one of the early supporters of Berytech’s Agrytech program and the QOOT cluster for the development of such environment.


Jamil Haddad, Founder of Colonel Brewary


Jamil Haddad is the founder of Colonel Project, a microbrewery that produces and fosters the culture of high-quality craft beer, on a green platform in the heart of Batroun city.

After pursuing rigorous research, attending several workshops in the UK, and touring different breweries and beer festivals in Europe, Jamil mastered the craft and became proficient at it.

The Colonel project presents a unique concept to the market, consists of Colonel Microbrewery and Colonel Brewpub & Restaurant. In addition to their beer, Colonel’s micro-distillery is also know producing a new range of crafted spirits: gin, vodka, and arak.


Thursday October 1, 2020