I order to reach this national goal State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations Péter Szijjártó with a business delegation visited Kuwait in November 2012. During the meeting, the Hungarian delegation met with Mr. Anas Meerza General Manager of the 350 million dollar capitalized National Technology Enterprises Company (NTEC).
NTEC invests in development programs utilizing investment tools such as private equity and venture capital investment. Analysing more than 300 investment possibilities a year, it invests directly in the projects of the selected companies or occasionally partners up with different investors. NTEC has a close working relationship with research laboratories, R&D centres, universities and experts of the industry.
As a result of previous negotiations the National Innovation Office (NIO) and NTEC signed a memorandum of understanding, which provides the basis for exchange of information of projects, technologies and patents for commercial use between the institutions of the two countries. The key element of the cooperation will be to identify the Hungarian and Kuwaiti companies interested in innovation, as well as the realisation of Kuwaiti developments with the contribution of Hungarian experts. The NIO intends to contribute to the NTEC Technology Enterprise Centre’s (TEC) with Hungarian experts, which would allow national innovative companies to enter the market. The signed memorandum’s goal is to stimulate the implementation of Hungarian scientific and technological achievements in the Gulf countries.
The first step to map out the RDI business opportunities between the two countries was the first Hungarian-Kuwaiti RDI Workshop organised on the 13th and 14th of March, 2013 at the National Innovation Office. Having regard to the fact that in both countries’ RDI strategy life sciences, energy and water treatment technologies, information and communication technologies are a priority, the Workshop was built around these subject pillars.
During the Workshop, innovative companies interested in Hungarian-Kuwaiti joint R&D projects, market cooperation in the Gulf region and Kuwaiti capital investment were introduced to the lead representatives of the NTEC. The NIO experts examined more than 250 potential Hungarian companies’ profile, and after the pre-screening, 50 of the most promising companies were given the opportunity to introduce themselves in writing. After this, NTEC experts chose 25 of these companies with whom they would like to meet personally at the first Hungarian-Kuwaiti Workshop.
Furthermore, since the NTEC leaders are open to examine the cooperation opportunities with the Hungarian venture capital investment companies, the NIO prepared a separate section within the workshop for private discussions with the Hungarian venture capital investment companies interested in the cooperation with Kuwait.
The event also provided the opportunity for the vice-presidents of the National Innovation Office to have bilateral discussions with the Kuwaiti delegation about the long-term RDI cooperation.
State Secretary for Foreign Affairs and External Economic Relations, Péter Szijjártó gave the opening speech of the Workshop, followed by Mr. Anas Meerza, General Manager of NTEC and the head of the Kuwaiti delegation, and László Korányi, vice-president of the National Innovation Office.
The outcome of the Workshop and its results will highly determine the agenda of the Hungarian-Kuwaiti Joint Economic Committee meeting on the 7th and 8th of March, 2013.