June 24th, 2019, Palestine Technopark (PTP) in direct partnership with the Ministry of National Economy (MoNE) and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), launched the Palestine Creative Hub, a specialized fabrication lab focused on product development for Palestinian creative industries. The launch involved a three-day seminar entitled “Creative Design Acceleration” from June 24 - 27, 2019. The seminar is about integrating nascent technologies within the Palestinian economy and the development process.
The Palestine Creative Hub offers spaces and services for creators, innovators and entrepreneurs to collaborate and develop their own designs, products, brands and markets. The Hub will be providing several services including seminars, workshops, in addition to design and fabrication hackathons featuring international and local design and innovation experts.
Mr. Rasem Suwan, CEO of the PTP, gave a brief overview of services and objectives of the PTP. Suwan explained, PTP is nonprofit organization that supports scientific institutions, entrepreneurial projects, and technology-related projects with services and facilities such as Co-working spaces, Incubators, Startups’ spaces, University Liaison Offices, and Innovation Labs, which focus on new emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, financial technology, augmented reality, and virtual reality, and internet of things. Suwan added that the Palestine Creative Hub and the PTP facilities will help promote technological integration and innovation in all sectors of the Palestinian industry specifically and the economy at large through the provision of tools to connect industries, academic research and innovators all together.
Mr. Ahmed ElFarra, the National Program Coordinator of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Palestine, which supported the conceptualization and establishment of the Palestine Creative Hub along with the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy, said that the project focuses on developing the Palestinian creative industry and integrating Palestinian cultural and heritage based designs and creative processes within entrepreneurial practices in the State of Palestine with strategic linkages locally and internationally. ElFarra emphasized the vital role Creative Industries play in economic development especially through the deployment of the wealthy Palestinian culture and heritage for product differentiation and enhanced market positioning. The Palestine Creative Hub serves as a platform to animate and connect designers, entrepreneurs and stakeholders to establish and boost a national design identity for the Palestinian products and brands towards greater markets shares in both local and international markets through the advancement of creative product design and development culture in the State of Palestine.
Eng. Shifa Abusaadeh, the Director General of Industry Development and Natural Resources at the Ministry of National Economy stressed that the Palestine Creative Hub is first of it’s kind in Palestine and will effectively serve as a sustainable model for the continuation of UNIDO’s approach in the development of creative industries at the national level targeting all industries and will include packaging as a key priority for expansion into local and international markets. Abusaadeh also added that the Ministry of National Economy will continue to work in partnership with UNIDO as a specialized UN Agency in which State of Palestine is a full member state and will collaborate with the PTP to support the advancement of the Creative Hub to maximize the impact on the Palestinian economy through targeted support for the productive sectors.
The first kick-off session of the Palestine Creative Hub received the participation of 14 engineers, designers and entrepreneurs, and coaching was led by two leading international experts in the field: David Valentiny, an innovation process designer, and Laurent Mikolajczak, an entrepreneur and an impact startup accelerator and adviser. The experts said that their focus is on combining rational and creative mindsets in a lean, agile methodology that can be applied by startups and small-to-medium businesses relevant to the industries’ scale in Palestine.
It’s worth mentioning that Palestine Creative Hub is organized in direct partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development (UNIDO), the Ministry of National Economy and the Palestine Techno Park under the Creative Mediterranean program funded by European Union and the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation in Jerusalem and implemented by UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization.