Palestine Techno Park launches Palestine Creative Hub, hosts design session

On June 24, 2019, Palestine Techno Park in partnership with the Palestinian Ministry of National Economy and United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) launched Palestine Creative Hub, a specialized fabrication lab for product development in Palestinian creative industries. The launch involved a three-day seminar titled “Creative Design Acceleration” that focused on integrating nascent technologies within the Palestinian economy.

Palestine Creative Hub offers spaces and services where creators, innovators, and entrepreneurs may collaborate and develop their own designs, products, brands, and markets. Featuring both local and international design and innovation experts, it will provide seminars and workshops in addition to design and fabrication hackathons. 

Rasem Suwan, the chief executive officer of Palestine Techno Park, gave a brief overview of the park’s services and objectives as a nonprofit organization that supports scientific institutions as well as entrepreneurial and technology-related projects and startups. He explained that the hub provides services and facilities that include co-working spaces and incubators, university liaison offices, and innovation labs that focus on emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, financial technology, augmented reality, virtual reality, and the internet of things. 

Suwan declared that the facilities of Palestine Creative Hub and Palestine Techno Park will help promote technological integration and innovation in all sectors of the Palestinian industry, specifically, and in the nation’s economy, at large, through the provision of tools that connect industries with innovators and academic research. 

Ahmed ElFarra, the national program coordinator of UNIDO in Palestine, highlighted the project’s focus on developing the Palestinian creative industries; it aims to integrate Palestinian culture- and heritage-based designs and creative processes with entrepreneurial practices in the country and with strategic linkages locally and internationally. 

ElFarra emphasized the vital role creative industries play in economic development, as Palestinian culture and heritage incorporation allows for raised product differentiation and enhances market positioning. “The Palestine Creative Hub,” he explained, “serves as a platform to connect designers, entrepreneurs, and stakeholders. By animating them to establish and boost a national design identity for Palestinian products and brands, we aim to help local goods achieve greater market shares in both local and international markets.”

Shifa Abusaadeh, general director of industry development and natural resources at the ministry of national economy, emphasized the unique nature of Palestine Creative Hub, as it serves as a sustainable model for the continuation of UNIDO’s approach in the development of creative industries. Abusaadeh highlighted the ministry’s efforts to support, in cooperation with UNIDO and Palestine Techno Park, the advancement of Palestine Creative Hub and to maximize its impact on the Palestinian economy through targeted support for the productive sectors.

Fourteen engineers, designers, and entrepreneurs participated in the session, which was led by two international experts: David Valentiny, an innovation process designer, and Laurent Mikolajczak, an entrepreneur and impact startup accelerator and adviser, who stated 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, as relevant to the scale of industries in Palestine.