Amman, 3 Aug. 2020: the European Union (EU) and Orange Jordan signed a €7.3 million agreement to create a new Innovation Space that promotes private sector-led innovation and digital economy in Jordan.
The EU-funded Innovation Space is a pioneering initiative in Jordan and a one-stop-shop for digital innovation and entrepreneurial support. It will introduce digital culture to the wider Jordanian public, foster digital skills, especially among women and youth, and promote and nurture entrepreneurship by identifying key opportunities for digital economic growth. The Innovation Space is co-funded by the EU’s “Innovation for Enterprise Growth and Jobs” programme, also known as Innovate Jordan.
The Innovation Space will utilize and expand existing digital centres affiliated with Orange Jordan, to catalyse investments to ensure that Jordan’s nascent digital economy and innovation culture mature. The project also aims at boosting social inclusion, with a special attention to women and youth.
Twenty-three digital centres across Jordan will be renovated or established, as well as five new coding academies, five new FabLabs, five new BIG (Start-ups’ Growth Accelerators) , three new incubators across the country and an aggregating Innovation Hub at Orange Digital Village in Eastern Amman .
EU Ambassador to Jordan Maria Hadjitheodosiou said, “I am delighted to launch this new project with Orange Jordan to support digitalization and innovation, which will boost economic growth and job creation. Through this initiative, we will invest in young entrepreneurs and innovators with cutting-edge ideas, whilst also supporting digital innovation education and skills. We also strongly believe that innovation and a digital economy can help alleviate the socio-economic consequences of the COVID19 crisis.”
CEO of Orange Jordan Thierry Marigny said: "We are proud of our partnership with the European Union for such an important project that will promote innovation and support entrepreneurship to accelerate economic progress, this is a stepping stone towards digitalizing the economy, which is consistent with Orange Jordan’s strategy”.
Marigny added: “We are happy that this collaboration will enable the expansion of our current programs leading to the maximization of positive impact on society in terms of quality, number of beneficiaries and wider footprint in the Jordanian governorates”.
The execution of this three-year project will start this year.
About Innovate Jordan programme
The 'Innovation for Enterprise Growth & Jobs' (‘Innovate Jordan’ in short) is a €20 million, four years programme of the European Union. The programme’s overall objective is to demonstrate how private sector innovation can be the main driver of inclusive economic development and promote systematic change and coherence in the enterprise and innovation ecosystem in Jordan, through piloting private sector led innovation initiatives.
The programme aims to provide space and opportunity for innovative enterprises to scale and grow, to improve access to innovation infrastructure facilities, financing and services, and to promote the culture of innovation, through pilot initiatives and communication actions, supporting the open innovation lifecycle from ideation to international growth exploitation.
The EU-Orange Innovation Space is one of the three grant initiatives envisaged by the programme.