Saint Joseph University of Beirut (USJ) represented by its rector, Professor Salim Daccache s.j., and the Berytech Foundation, represented by Mr. Maroun N. Chammas, President and CEO of Berytech, signed on December 14, 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding for the establishment of a Scholarship Fund entitled “Berytech for Entrepreneurship and Innovation” aiming to contribute to the promotion of higher education by providing financial assistance to students.
This Fund will allow USJ to provide scholarships for an entrepreneurial project to students enrolled in master’s or final year of a bachelor’s degree program that must be completed with a final-year project. Eligible themes are agriculture, water, energy and waste. Research that emphasizes the application of science, engineering, and technology in all of the above areas is of particular interest.
In her welcoming speech, Director of USJ Foundation, Mrs. Cynthia Ghobril Andrea, expressed her joy to welcome the entire Berytech team and its CEO Mr. Maroun N. Chammas, “a loyal friend of USJ and who, to our great pleasure, has accepted to be a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.” Ghobril Andrea said: “Mr. Chammas, we are truly grateful to be able to benefit from your experience, your vision and your good advice.”
At the signing ceremony, the Director of USJ Foundation also thanked USJ Vice-Presidents and especially the Deans and Directors of the recipient schools: Professor Wassim Raphael, Dean of the Faculty of Engineering (FI) and Director of School of Engineering in Beirut (ESIB), Professor Richard Maroun, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences (FS), Professor Maya Kharrat Sarkis, Director of the School of Agricultural Engineering for Mediterranean Countries (ESIAM) and the School of Food Industry Engineering (ESIA), and Professor Marc Ibrahim, Director of National Institute of Telecommunications and Informatics (INCI).
In his speech, Professor Salim Daccache recalled that “we founded Berytech together in 2002, an ecosystem of innovation and entrepreneurship at the service of the Lebanese youth and its capabilities, which has become over time a national duty of development and investment in young talents. Dear Mr. Chammas, you have been Berytech’s alert driving force and your leadership continues to uphold it. You have invested significantly and convinced many partners to invest in Berytech. You give us a great lesson about teamwork and intelligent organization.”
“You are well aware,” adds USJ Rector, “that our youth should not leave the country, that an economy cannot flourish without innovation and without harmonization with regional economies and the world. This much appreciated initiative opens up other opportunities for us to work together and it takes up new challenges such as the creation of Berytech antennas in USJ’s regional campuses: a project that has just been embraced by the Francophone University Agency through the Safir program.”
As Professor Daccache so aptly put, on December 29, 2019, during the ceremony to establish the Maroun Chammas Endowment Fund: "Berytech is resistance through resilience". With these words full of gratitude and hope, Mrs. Ghobril Andrea gave the floor to Berytech CEO and President.
Maroun N. Chammas said, “It has indeed been two decades that we have been transforming innovative ideas into prosperous Lebanese start-ups, which mainly help to create jobs. Despite all the factors that hinder Lebanon’s advances, it is quite sure that the entrepreneurial ecosystem, launched by USJ through Berytech, has reshaped and will continue to reshape the Lebanese economy.”
“We owe it to this generation of students to provide them with the best trainings in the most promising sectors, such as agri-food and renewable energy,” he added. “Lebanon’s potential is tremendous and is expected to enable it to have a leading role, both regionally and locally, and even globally, in the race for viable solutions for our collective food security and the health of our environment.”
“Universities are key players in technology transfer and commercialization. It is therefore their duty to revolutionize the process in Lebanon, in order to boost the economy. USJ is the best place to lead this revolution,” says Berytech CEO.
For his part, Mr. Ramy Boujawdeh, Berytech’s Deputy General Manager, shared the technical details, along with the selection process and eligibility criteria for the scholarship.
After the signing, the Rector presented Mr. Chammas with an autographed copy of the book “Varoujan, photographer of Lebanon’s Glorious Thirty”, which is a catalog published by USJ Publications in collaboration with the Oriental Library and the Boghossian Foundation.
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