Iran can become global tech player: UN
A UN report says Iran has developed the science and technology skills necessary to be a global player in more than oil and gas but it must invest more in innovation.
The report released on Tuesday by the United Nations trade and development agency, UNCTAD, touched on Iran’s “impressive” scientific growth since it last assessed the country’s policies on science, technology and innovation in 2005.
Iran has had one of the world's fastest growing scientific outputs, climbing from 34th to 16th position in terms of scientific publications, UNCTAD's new Science, Technology and Innovation Policy Review for Iran said.
Iran’s population now has the world’s second-highest number of engineer graduates per capita. The country has shown it can do top-notch research and work with technology, even in emerging sectors like nanotech, but the challenge now is to commercialize this knowledge, the report said.
"Iran’s impressive human resources position it well to seize the opportunity of reconnecting with the global economy, and its policies on science, technology, and innovation will be critical to its success,” said Shamika Sirimanne, director of UNCTAD's Division on Technology and Logistics.
US-led sanctions in place since 1980 and strengthened in 2008 have forced the country to become self-reliant despite limiting Iran's access to foreign finance, technologies and markets, UNCTAD said.