x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Governments can stimulate innovation

National innovation offices are required to coordinate development across the Arab World, according to global consultants Booz & Co

Middle East and North African countries should consider creating national innovation offices to help coordinate and oversee the development of innovation in the region.

That is the view of the global consultants Booz & Company, adding that such national offices could identify market opportunities and direct financial and human capital to the right areas of the economy.

"Innovation will require a good level of orchestration, these things do not fall in to place by accident," said Karim Sabbagh, a senior partner at Booz & Company.

An office for innovation could be an entirely new part of a government or an addition to a current department, he said.

"A single organisation such as a national innovation office can provide centralised oversight of the innovation agenda, working in conjunction with orchestrators at lower levels of the economy."

Osama Ghanim, the founder and chief executive of Innovabia, a Dubai consultancy, said the Arab world had made significant steps in innovation, but governments could do more.

"Governments have the role of making the necessary infrastructure needed for innovative societies regardless of what companies do," Mr Ghanim said.

rjones@thenational.ae