New ideas for outstanding problems – turn our eyes to the Middle East

Many societies face a challenge in how to shift attention from exploitation of existing tangible assets in land and buildings to embrace more investment in people, new ideas and a mind-set that responds creatively to outstanding problems by trying to work out and test new viable solutions. This is particularly visible in economies with great wealth of natural resources, such as the oil- and gas rich Arab Gulf. Apart from mapping the role of social innovation in this context, SI-DRIVE partner IKED has brought the concept to the table on various relevant occasions. These include February 22 Roundtable meeting “Addressing Employability – Bridging University – Industry Gaps”, hosted by the Middle East College (MEC) in Muscat and also involving Linking-Med-Gulf under the coordination of the University of Barcelona, concluded on the need of broadened engagement by all stakeholders to work out new interfaces between institutions of higher education and the work place in order to raise both the employability and productivity of graduates in the work place. For further information please contact:

Further, in the ongoing EU-funded inconet-GCC project, IKED in collaboration with ITEMS in France, the British Council, PEIE and the Research Council of Oman, Qatar University, the Information Authority of Bahrain and other interested actors, is preparing for an innovation and entrepreneurship track, aimed to link a combined cross-border community and vibrant ecosystem of start-ups and associated competencies in the GCC countries and the EU. Further information is available here: