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    Launch of the Second Edition of ICESCO Program to Support Youth Technology and Innovation Projects from Azerbaijan

    5 October 2023

    The Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), in partnership with the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Kapital Bank, and the New Space Innovation Foundation, launched the second edition of the youth training program on the development of small projects in the field of technology and innovation, in the Republic of Azerbaijan, intending to support the creative economy in the Islamic world and promote innovative technological startups.

    At the outset of the launch ceremony, held on Wednesday (October 4, 2023), at Yarat Contemporary Art Centre, in Baku, Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director-General, gave an address, wherein he reviewed the objectives of the training program, most notably enhancing and ensuring the sustainability of startups in the Islamic world, and launching more than 150 startups by the end of 2025, as well as developing the capacities of more than 500 entrepreneurs.

    Dr. AlMalik pointed out that the program seeks to focus on the fields of artificial intelligence, digital media, entertainment applications, virtual games, financial technology, and tourism, as well as agriculture and food-related technologies.

    For his part, Mr. Farid Jafarov, Deputy Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan, addressed the strong partnership between ICESCO and the Ministry and proposed to hold the closing ceremony of this program in Azerbaijan. Mr. Rashad Azizov, Head of the Department of Creative Industries and Digital Transformation at the Ministry of Culture of Azerbaijan, stressed the importance of cooperation to advance creative industries in the Islamic world and enhance cultural and economic diversity.

    Mr. Zakir Khanmammadov, Head of Kapital Bank, reviewed the Bank’s initiatives to improve the work environment for local startups. Ms. Leyla Taghizade, founder of the New Space Innovation Foundation, presented the Foundation’s programs to enhance youth capacities.

    Fourteen (14) teams from the cities of Baku, Sumgait and Ganja were selected to spend a six-week intensive training to develop their innovative projects, and then compete at the national level before reaching the finals.

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