PITA, PMDP Offer Academic-Technology Collaboration

The Palestinian Information Technology Association (PITA) and the Palestinian Market Development Program (PMDP) has approached Birzeit University to work together in the IT and Communications sector through  the Josoor/Bridges project.

PITA Chairman of the Board Yahya Al Salqan explained at a March 18, 2016 meeting with President Abdel Latif Abu Hijleh the goal of Josoor/Bridges, which aims to bring together PITA member companies and Palestinian universities to engage in joint, commercially-oriented projects in innovative IT product development, programs, and research.

The project targets teaching faculties in each university. The selected academics will be offered an avenue for engaging with IT sector and tackling the major IT and communications needs in the labor market.

“Birzeit University deeply values its faculty and is committed to investing to improve their abilities and to ensuring our students will continue to receive a quality education,” said Abu Hijleh. “We believe that the university is not only a knowledge depositary anymore. There is high pressure for universities to become more active in contributing to the society’s well-being and development. That is why we always search for pro-active approaches to engage with the private sector especially those that are specialized in IT and communication as they are now fundamental element for sustainable development.”

Josoor/Bridges is a highly competitive program aimed at forward-looking companies and universities that are interested in increasing cooperation between the IT sector and universities, Salqan explained. “The program will benefit companies by providing a platform for accessing significant knowledge capital and talent housed at Palestinian universities.”

The meeting was attended by Vice President for Planning and Development Mirvat Bulbul, Director of Grants and Contracts Office Dolly Kaibni, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Technology Khalid Abaza, Department of Computer Science chairperson Bassem Sayrafi, computer science professor and  member of the Josoor steering committee Mustafa Jarrar. Also there were PITA Project Coordinator Shireen Dabah, PMDP Deputy Team Leader Mohammed Nuseibeh, Market Development Advisor Abdallah Salameh and Market Development Officer Arsalan Faheem.

PITA represents more than 150 major ICT companies in Palestine’s emerging technology and startup ecosystem. PITA, based in Ramallah, was created in 1996 with a vision of creating a non-profit organization to advance the interests and positive societal impact of Palestine’s Information and Communication Technology sector.