Caspian Policy Center (CPC) Hosted the 1st U.S.-Caspian Innovation Summit in Boston
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – November 9th
Washington-based non-profit brought together government, business, and tech representatives both from the U.S. and Caspian region to discuss entrepreneurship, innovation and investment opportunities in the trans-Caspian countries.
BOSTON, MA – On November 7-8, the Caspian Policy Center, together with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Embassies of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan organized the very first U.S.-Caspian Innovation Summit in Boston, Massachusetts to discuss technological development, entrepreneurship and current innovation opportunities in the Caspian region. High-level representatives from both governments and private sector including former ambassadors, startup founders, and administration officials gave the summit audience a view on the current state of the most pressing innovation challenges, policy issues and development opportunities both in the United States and the Caspian Sea countries.
Efgan Nifti, Executive Director of the Caspian Policy Center, opened the first day of the Summit by highlighting the importance of diversification in the Caspian region.
“Innovation and entrepreneurship is an important topic for the countries in the Caspian region,” Nifti said. “Such spirit is key to the economic diversification in the region, where the majority of the countries are resource-rich and keen to develop more sustainable and diversified economies,” he added.
Sarah Delude, Head of International Business Strategy at the Boston Mayor’s Office, greeted the participants on the first day of the Summit and talked about the importance of this event for innovators and entrepreneurs who are involved in tech and policy circles both in the U.S. and the Caspian.
“The U.S.-Caspian Innovation Summit is an ideal platform for American investors and their Azerbaijani counterparts who are interested in mutual knowledge transfer and experience exchange,” Delude said.
Ambassador of the Republic of Azerbaijan to the United States Elin Suleymanov called American and Caspian region companies for establishing close ties and economic partnerships. He gave the conference audience a view from the latest reforms in Azerbaijan aimed to improve the business environment and economic development in Azerbaijan.
Kazakhinvest’s representative to the U.S. Daulet Saudabayev talked about Kazakhstan’s vision in fostering entrepreneurship and Turkish Consul General Ceylan Ozen delivered remarks about Turkey’s vision on innovation.
Daniel Isenberg, a professor at the Harvard Business School, shared his feedback on founding new startups with the innovators from the Caspian region.
Former Ambassador to Azerbaijan and current CPC Board Member Robert F. Cekuta shared his thoughts on critical infrastructure projects in the Caspian and highlighted the importance of safe transportation and energy routes in the region.
“Azerbaijan has moved 32 steps up and now ranks 25th among 190 countries according to the “Doing Business 2019” report,” said Orkhan Mammadov, Chairman of the Agency for Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development in Azerbaijan.
Tural Kerimli, CEO of the High Tech Park Azerbaijan, talked about the technological and innovative transformation of Azerbaijan in the last 25 years.
On November 8- the second day of the Summit- the participants visited MassChallenge – the largest startup accelerator in the United States, toured Boston University’s innovation lab—BUild Lab and the Cambridge Innovation Center.
The two-day program focused on insights and experiences around innovation, processes, startup incentives, and R&D efforts in the Boston area and the Caspian Region. Speakers and panels discussed and assessed industry needs, to identify requirements, timeframes, investment opportunities, and challenges around building and expanding proper innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Trans-Caspian states. The Summit participants got equipped with insights, knowledge exchange and networks to make better-informed decisions about how to get involved in innovative programs and projects in the U.S. and Caspian region.