Philips will fund and run with the help of local incubators and the collaboration of local universities an annual program, the Philips Innovation Program, which will provide selected innovators an all-expense-paid stay for up to six months in one of the Philips' Research and Development (R&D) campuses around the world. There they will have the chance to develop their innovative ideas into well developed, Intellectual Property (IP) protected, business cases. Once completed, business cases will be presented to Venture Capitalists within the region to secure financing and execute the concepts. Execution of final concepts must take place in the Arab world, thus creating job opportunities within the region. Through the process the idea will remain exclusively owned by the innovators themselves.
The Arab world has one of the youngest and fastest growing populations in the world. According to the World Bank, it is estimated that between 55 and 70 million jobs need to be created in the coming decade to absorb the influx of people into the workforce. Failure to do so, could create large scale unemployment and social instability in the region
Entrepreneurship and regional business creation is a fundamental aspect of job creation. By fostering innovation and the development of human capital while providing access to sophisticated technology and processes, Philips aims to contribute to the long term human capital development of the Arab world through the 'Philips Innovation Program.'
The uniqueness of the program lies in the fact that Philips will act as enabler without any direct or indirect benefit in the process. Philips will provide the young innovators with the tools, framework, IP support, business guidance and access to VC networks in order to convert their ideas into reality. All of this while ensuring the ideas remain solely owned by their generators.
Common practice these days is to either run innovation awards and provide young innovators with a certificate, or provide grants for new ideas but transfer the ownership to the grant provider. The innovators end up incapable of executing their ideas and bringing them to life while benefiting from them.
Another unique element is the fact that the innovators' skill set for ultimately managing the company are put to the test and they will be asked as a prerequisite to work and present their ideas in teams that have the skills and expertise required to run an organization.
SEEKING: Financial Resources: Venture Capitalists, Financial Organizations, or NGOs who have an interest and objective of investing in the Middle East and to develop entrepreneurship and innovation in the Middle East
Philips is open to working with other like-minded companies who would like to support/contribute to the program. VC support will be esstential to converting the business plans into a reality.