Islamic Development Bank launches USD 500 million ''innovation fund''

April 4, 2018

The Islamic Development Bank (IDB) launched on Tuesday a USD 500 million 'innovation fund' for funding scientific and technological inventions throughout the globe.
This came at a ceremony held on margins of the annual meetings of the IDB Group, which kicked off in Tunisia on Sunday, as prelude to the bank annual convention due on Wednesday.
Dr. Bandar Hajjar, the group president, said in a statement during the ceremony that some of the money earmarked for the fund would be invested in food security, education, water management, clean energy and manufacturing in developing nations.
Moreover, some sums will finance emerging companies, small and medium enterprises. Inventors, scientists and institutions can apply for funding online, Hajjar said.
Also on the event sidelines, the IDB, in partnership with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), launched an initiative to incubate entrepreneurs who create solutions on scientific basis.
These entrepreneurs will also benefit from the abovementioned fund.
Meanwhile, Marwan Al-Ghanim, in charge of operations at Kuwait Bank for Arab Economic Development (KFAED), said in a statement to KUNA that Arab development funds are vital for economic and social development in the Arab world.
KFAED was the first such fund to be established in a developing country (Kuwait) -- in 1961.
The Kuwaiti fund, since the 80s, has expanded operations in Africa, Asia, East Europe and Latin America.
KFAED is partaking in the IDB meetings as an observer, said Al-Ghanim, noting that the gatherings are ideal to swap expertise.