800 knowledge-based companies active in the defense sector
More than 800 knowledge-based companies across Iran are actively researching and manufacturing defense-related products, Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari said on Sunday.
“The defense sector should provide these companies with room for expansion and guarantee the purchase of their knowledge-based products,” the official said, as quoted by IRNA.
Sattari was delivering a speech at the closing ceremony of a three-day event titled Imam Ali Knowledge & Research on Sunday morning, attended by army commanders and families of soldiers who lost their lives in wars over the last four decades.
The official highlighted Islamic Revolution leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei’s remarks on the role of knowledge-based businesses in the country’s development and said, “We are now in a place where we have grasped the value of knowledge and technology, particularly in the defense sector.
He placed particular emphasis on innovation as one of the cornerstones of power in the international order and noted that innovation should be part of all sectors, including defence.
“We spend a lot of money in the country on education and research, but we don’t see that translating into expansion and the production of goods,” he added.
In his view, private sector investment was an overlooked factor that had created sub-optimal results.
“The defense sector should demand its needs from these [knowledge-based] companies,” he said, noting that product innovation and commercialization could be done by private companies.
Sattari added: “There is an agreement in the defense sector to use knowledge-based companies, but it still faces some resistance.
The official said employing inventive and smart people in these companies was the key to innovation.
Role of universities
Sattari said the defense sector could harness the largely unrealized potential of universities and researchers to advance its goals.
All organizations currently conducting research were created to attract private sector investment, the official said.
He was referring to the many science and technology parks and innovation factories operating across the country.
“Private sector investment in many science and technology parks is 25 times that of the government,” the vice president said.
He pointed out that by creating the right ecosystem and minimizing investment risks, Iran could grow, boost its economy and assert its authority.
He concluded his remarks by expressing his hope for the success of recent local research on artificial intelligence and talked about its potential in the development of the country.