ALGERIA: ICT innovation start-up initiative
Algeria has launched a start-up initiative called ASI to help university graduates and hi-tech entrepreneurs transfer ideas into innovative information and communications technology-based enterprises in the hope of establishing a Silicon Valley-style innovation zone and a "Google - made in Algeria".
ASI is part of the 'e-Algeria 2013' strategy that aims to connect Algeria to the information society and knowledge-based economy. The plan was announced at the First Conference on the Creation of Start-ups held last week and organised by the National Agency for the Promotion and Development of Technology, the US-Algeria Business Council and Algerian business leaders based in California.
ASI is intended to speed up the use of ICT in enterprises, develop mechanisms and incentive measures enabling access to equipment and ICT networks, and to develop skilled human resources.
Participants at the conference emphasised the need to create a national technology investment fund to finance new enterprises specialising in ICTs and to enable Algerian university graduates and entrepreneurs turn ideas and projects into viable and well-managed ICT enterprises.
To build bridges between Algerians and skilled expats living abroad, a national competition for start-up projects will be organised in Algiers next January, in cooperation with Algerian researchers and experts working in the Silicon Valley.
Three prize-winners will receive full funding for their enterprises and will be provided with a personal adviser and an 'intelligence office' in the Sidi Abdallah 'cyber-park'. They will also have the chance to visit Silicon Valley and meet representatives working at the cutting edge of ICT.