February 2, 2024

Unveiling QOOT’s Triumphs and Future Roadmap

Reflecting on QOOT’s 2023 and Glimpsing into 2024 

Dr. Marc Bou Zeidan, QOOT’s illustrious Cluster manager, took center stage at the QOOT Cluster General Assembly, captivating the audience with a detailed overview of the cluster’s achievements in 2023 and the strategic roadmap envisaged for 2024. His presentation illuminated the pivotal role QOOT plays in Lebanon’s agrifood landscape and its burgeoning impact both locally and internationally. 

A Year of Accomplishments 

In 2023, QOOT witnessed remarkable growth, boasting a substantial increase in active membership from 78 to 117. This surge underscores the burgeoning interest and commitment of stakeholders within the cluster. Dr. Marc emphasized the significance of this expansion, aiming to further augment membership to 150 by 2024, thereby fostering a more vibrant and inclusive ecosystem. 

One of QOOT’s standout achievements lies in its unwavering support for research and development (R&D) endeavors. The cluster directly aided six members in their R&D journeys and facilitated the Agrifood Innovation Award, showcasing its dedication to fostering innovation within the sector. Additionally, seven QOOT members received indirect support through collaborations with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), highlighting QOOT’s prowess in facilitating impactful partnerships. At the collaboration level, QOOT has formed 7 partnerships: The Lebanese University, Fattal Group, Industrial Research Institute (IRI), Gray Mckinzie Retail Group (Spinneys), The Laboratories for the Environment, Agriculture and Food (LEAF), Notre Dame University (NDU), and VEGEPOLYS Valley. 

In its relentless pursuit of excellence, QOOT orchestrated over 60 hours of training sessions, actively engaging 93 members to bolster their skills and expertise. Furthermore, the cluster spearheaded extensive training sessions for the Lebanon Export Academy (LEA), further fortifying its commitment to capacity building and knowledge dissemination within the agrifood domain. 

Paving the Path to Market Access 

QOOT’s endeavors in facilitating market access yielded commendable results, with over 500 B2B activities conducted for 75+ members. These initiatives culminated in incremental sales exceeding $300K for 11 QOOT affiliates, underscoring the tangible impact of QOOT’s market outreach initiatives. Dr. Marc underscored the imperative of amplifying such endeavors to drive sustained growth and market penetration for QOOT members. 

The acquisition of QOOT’s first grant from Oxfam Great Britain marked a significant milestone, enabling the establishment of vital linkages between QOOT members and supported social enterprises. This grant exemplifies QOOT’s commitment to leveraging external funding to fuel meaningful collaborations and drive positive social impact. 

Charting a Course for 2024 and Beyond 

Dr. Marc provided a tantalizing glimpse into QOOT’s strategic initiatives for 2024, highlighting plans to enhance flagship events such as Horeca and the Agrifood Innovation Award. Moreover, with the imminent conclusion of a key grant, QOOT is diligently working towards ensuring financial sustainability to sustain its growth trajectory and foster continued innovation within the agrifood sector. 

Empowering Interactions: Insights from Mrs. Amal Abdallah on IP Rights 

Following Dr. Marc’s insightful presentation, Mrs. Amal Abdallah, representing SABA IP, graced the assembly with a succinct yet enlightening discourse on Intellectual Property (IP) Rights. Her presentation shed light on the vital nexus between IP protection and entrepreneurial success, offering invaluable insights into safeguarding and leveraging intellectual assets within the agrifood landscape. 

Navigating the IP Terrain: Key Takeaways 

Mrs. Amal Abdallah’s presentation elucidated the multifaceted realm of IP rights, emphasizing their critical importance for startups and entrepreneurs. Her comprehensive breakdown underscored the need for astute IP management strategies, ranging from identifying and assessing IP assets to legally enforcing rights and optimizing commercialization strategies. 

Strategic Imperatives: Maximizing IP Value 

Central to Mrs. Abdallah’s discourse was the imperative of IP valorization, whereby intangible IP assets are transformed into tangible economic value. By unlocking the latent potential of IP assets, agrifood entrepreneurs can enhance market position, foster innovation, and drive sustainable growth. 

Fostering a Culture of Innovation and Protection 

In essence, Mrs. Amal Abdallah’s presentation underscored the symbiotic relationship between innovation and IP protection, advocating for a holistic approach towards recognizing, protecting, exploiting, and enforcing IP rights. By embracing this ethos, agrifood entrepreneurs can effectively safeguard their innovations, gain a competitive edge, and propel the industry towards new horizons of success. 

As the curtains drew on the QOOT Cluster General Assembly, attendees departed enriched with insights, inspired by QOOT’s trailblazing achievements, and equipped with the tools to navigate the intricate landscape of IP rights. With unwavering resolve and collective synergy, QOOT stands poised to chart new frontiers of innovation and excellence, shaping the future of Lebanon’s agrifood ecosystem. 

In 2023, QOOT witnessed remarkable growth, boasting a substantial increase in active membership from 78 to 117.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Maria Zino

Maria Zino

Joined Berytech as a QOOT cluster officer. She supports coordinating and implementing various activities associated with program execution. Maria oversees and assists in managing events and ensures a smooth development along the course of the program.