Tue, Mar 24, 2020

Zoom In & Learn- March 2020

Zoom in and learn

Join us online as we bring together Lebanese enterprises and SMEs, knowledge providers and support institutions to learn and check opportunities for joint R&D projects.

For this spring edition, we will shed light on the economy within the current situation. The meeting will be held online.

Event Details

Date: Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Time: 11:00am – 12:00pm

Theme: Competitiveness


11:00am Welcome note and presentation of QOOT Lebanon agri-food Innovation cluster

Nadine El Khoury | President of Qoot agri-food cluster and COO at Robinson Agri

11:15am Industry-academic partnerships: An approach to accelerate innovation

Dr. Rabi Mohtar | Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB)

11:30am Tackling agri-food challenges through R&D

Naji Abi Zeid | Director of ELCIM and CIT at IRI

11:45am Technical assistance opportunities in light of the current situation

Huda Saigh| Program manager at EBRD

12:00pm Q&A


Nadine El Khoury – Board President of QOOT the agri-food cluster and COO at Robinson Agri  

Nadine-El-KhouryAfter graduating in 1995 with a BS in Agriculture Engineering from the American University of Beirut, Nadine El Khoury went to 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.

Armed with a solid belief in the potential of Lebanese Agriculture, Nadine ascended to the the role of COO, directly contributing to the expansion of the greenhouse and seed businesses of Robinson Agri, and the establishment of Agrigrow, the professional plant nursery founded in partnership with Dutch company Grow Group. 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 member in different professional associations like LDBA, Association of Lebanese Industrialists and Byblos Industrialists Assembly and recently board member of WLC and also with Berytech in the Agrytech Accelerator Program.

Dr. Rabi H. Mohtar – Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences (FAFS) at the American University of Beirut (AUB)  

Rabi MohtarDr. Rabi H. Mohtar is a Governor of the World Water Council, and Executive Board Member of the International Water Resources Association. Dr. Mohtar is also a TEES Research Professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering and the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&M University and adjunct professor at Purdue University and at Texas A&M Qatar University. Mohtar founded the Water-Energy-Food Nexus Initiative (A&M), where he is also Advisor to the TEES Energy Institute.

Dr. Mohtar established the Water-Energy-Food-Health Nexus Renewable Resources Initiative (WEFRAH), he was the inaugural director of Purdue’s Global Engineering Programs, and developed the concept of Global Design Teams. Dr. Mohtar’s research focuses on analytic frameworks for linking science and policy, pedostructure characterization of the soil-water medium, non-traditional water in agriculture, and applications for sustainable integrated water management. From 2012-2015, Dr. Mohtar was a member of the Global Agenda Council, Climate Change and 2009-2012 a member of the, Global Agenda Council on Water Security, both of the World Economic Forum. Dr. Mohtar is a Senior Non-resident Fellow at OCP Policy Center and Fellow of the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (2018). He is a Distinguished Alumnus of the American University of Beirut.

Naji Abi Zeid- Director of the Euro Lebanese Center for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) and the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT) at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI)

Naji Abi Zeid_webNaji Abi Zeid is the Director of the Euro Lebanese Center for Industrial Modernization (ELCIM) and the Centre for Innovation and Technology (CIT). His focus is on developing programs to support Lebanese industries, innovation through industry/academia linkages and SMEs with technical support. Though all sectors are covered, ICT and agro-food are key.Prior experiences included being a technical advisor for the Ministry of industry involving the assessment of existing industries and participated actively in the elaboration of regulations guiding the implementation of new industries.

From 2003 to 2013, he was the Head of the Environment Unit at the Industrial Research Institute (IRI) developing, for instance, feasibility studies related to the establishment of new industries, environmental, or impact assessment studies. Prior to 2003, he acted as counsellor to the Minister of Industry for industrial pollution issues.

Naji holds a degree in General Sciences from the Beirut University College, a Masters in Political and Administrative Sciences from Saint Joseph University of Beirut, and a DESS in Urban Planning and Land Use from the Academie Libanaise Des Beaux Arts.

Huda Saigh- Program Manager of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 

Huda Saigh EBRDHuda Saigh is the Program Manager of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Advice for Small Businesses Program in Lebanon. Prior to joining EBRD, Huda worked as an Economic Development Consultant and worked on several projects with the IFC in the Middle East supporting microfinance organizations and with international NGOs such as Mercy Corps and Diakonia on assessing the organizational capacity of SMEs and NGOs.

Huda was also the Finance Manager at Al Majmoua – the largest microfinance organization in Lebanon for six years and worked as Senior Economic Officer at a UNDP project at the Ministry of Finance where she was responsible for several initiatives including Donor Coordination.

Huda was also a Senior Consultant focused on strategy and operations at Deloitte and the Director of Finance and Operations at a non-profit organization in New York. She holds a Master’s degree in International Affairs from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from American University. She is also a Chartered Financial Analyst.


Tuesday March 24, 2020