Partnering with LAU Fouad Makhzoumi Innovation Centre

Cambridge Enterprise has begun work with the Fouad Makhzoumi Innovation Centre, located on the Beirut campus of the Lebanese American University, to build an expert framework for developing its intellectual property. The framework will also strengthen LAU’s technology transfer efforts, helping innovative research reach its fullest potential in terms of scalability, accessibility, and impact.

Cambridge Enterprise will form an expert panel, alongside those leading LAU research projects, to present a plan and series of recommendations to the university on launching a world class IP policy and technology transfer unit.

The programme signals an important move and serious intent from LAU to advance its research capabilities and leverage its knowledge base to create real-world solutions, collaborating with highly experienced industry partners. LAU’s President Joseph G Jabbra described this initiative as “the cornerstone of LAU’s transformation”. By generating more know-how and patents and boosting the university’s technology transfer capabilities, President Jabbra said LAU will “champion experiential learning and applied knowledge, attract top researchers, innovators, and students, complementing the mastery of theory with real life experience”.

This approach is also very much considered a means of preparing LAU students for the future labour market. Tony Raven, CEO of Cambridge Enterprise, said “We look forward to working with LAU on this transformational project. LAU is a respected Middle Eastern university with a strong history, a long-term vision, and great ambitions. We are excited at this opportunity to support the university as it lays the foundations for a greater global impact”.

The University of Cambridge is a global leader in research commercialisation, highly regarded for its collaborative and flexible approach to IP ownership and commercialisation, which was a key component in the creation of the ‘Cambridge Phenomenon’, a highly successful cluster of technology-based businesses, science parks,  and innovation centres. British Ambassador to Lebanon Chris Rampling stressed that “this openness makes Cambridge University a perfect partner for LAU as they endeavour to develop their own innovation cluster and lead the way in re-imagining both Lebanon and the world”.

The joint working group will report its findings to the President’s office this summer with the aim of having a new IP policy rolled out in the autumn. “The FMIC will translate the report findings into legal policies and the creation of an end-to-end technology transfer office within the center” said LAU FMIC Director Saad El Zein. A revamped IP policy comes hand in hand with the launch of FMIC’s Innovatus, an applied research commercialisation programme that offers LAU researchers access to key resources to advance their projects. LAU has partnered with the UK Lebanon Tech Hub to develop and deliver the programme. “With an avant-garde IP policy, funding, and industry partnerships to commercialise our applied research, I am reassured that LAU is on the right track” Jabbra said

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