Unlocking Innovation: Insights from the EMPHASIS Policy Engagement and Management Workshop held in Jordan


In the rapidly evolving landscape of innovation, collaboration and knowledge sharing have emerged as key drivers for progress. To delve into this transformative phenomenon, a series of engaging workshops were held in Jordan within the framework of the EMPHASIS project under the banner of "Open Innovation Operation and Management". These workshops brought together a diverse range of thought leaders, policy makers, and experts across various sectors, igniting insightful discussions and proposing actionable strategies to foster open innovation within the Euro-Mediterranean region.

Policy Engagement Workshop: Driving Open Innovation for Economic Growth

The Policy Engagement Workshop, which took place on June 19, 2023, in Amman, marked a significant milestone in the realm of innovation. Distinguished speakers from a multitude of sectors, including academia, government, private enterprise, and donor programs, converged to delve into the intricacies of open innovation and its implications for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in Jordan. Dr. Fahmi Abu Al-Rub, the EMPHASIS project manager for Jordan, inaugurated the workshop, presenting a comprehensive overview of the project's mission and the pivotal role it plays in promoting open innovation.

Key highlights included the exploration of intersectoral collaboration, where government, private, and academic spheres intersected to create an ecosystem conducive to open innovation. Dr. Omar Amawi, Deputy Director of the PRIMA Program, emphasized the transformative potential of cross-border cooperation among the Mediterranean countries. This interconnectedness aims not only to bolster national economies but also to facilitate the seamless exchange of innovative ideas.

The role of institutions such as the Scientific Research and Innovation Support Fund (SRISF) and the Industrial and Scientific Research Development Fund (IRDF) was discussed in depth. These institutions play a pivotal role in fostering innovation-driven collaborations between academic and industrial sectors, serving as catalysts for economic growth.

Engineer Fadel Al-Labadi, Director of the Industrial Development Department at the Amman Chamber of Industry (ACI), underscored the importance of industrial clusters. These clusters offer a platform for participatory solutions to address industry-specific challenges, ensuring sustainable growth and innovation within the sector.

Open Innovation Operation and Management Workshop: Navigating Barriers and Formulating Solutions

The subsequent workshop, held on June 21, 2023, focused on the operational aspects of open innovation. Delving into practical strategies, this workshop was a platform for spirited discussions and insightful recommendations.

Dr. Jamil Al-Khateeb, Director of EBTICAR, delved into the concept of open innovation, highlighting its impact on Jordan and beyond. A panel discussion, titled "Importance of Open Innovation in the EUROMED Region: Exciting Open Innovation, Resources, and Barriers," further explored the implications of open innovation. Experts, including Dr. Hussam Khasawneh, Dr. Khalid Khraisat, and Dr. Omar Amawi, highlighted the nuances of innovation policy, offering multifaceted perspectives.

Dr. Muhannad Quweider, Director of the Center of Excellence for Innovative Projects, elaborated on the pivotal role that entrepreneurship centers in universities play in shaping the innovative landscape. These centers not only empower students and researchers but also contribute to national policies aimed at fostering innovation.

Eng. Zaid Nsour, IFAD Program Director to Jordan, emphasized the "SMEs – Open Innovation NEXUS," underscoring the necessity for updated policies to enhance collaboration among private institutions. Open innovation platforms and comprehensive databases were highlighted as key tools for propelling innovation.


The two workshops held under the EMPHASIS project served as an inspiring platform for stakeholders to delve into the nuances of open innovation, share their insights, and collectively propose strategies to foster an ecosystem where innovative ideas can thrive. By bridging the gaps between academia, industry, and government, these workshops have paved the way for a future enriched by collaboration, creativity, and boundless potential.