Potential for a Technology, Industrial, and Research Center

The Professional Computer Association (PCA) was interested in analyzing the Lebanese technology sector in order to assess the technology industries most potentially suitable for Lebanon and for creating a self-contained Technology, Industrial, and Research Center (BETZ). To assess the feasibility of the concept, the PCA commissioned InfoPro to conduct the study. InfoPro’s mandate entailed that three factors be assessed: 1) Potential of the technology industry in Lebanon 2) Assessing the key success factors for the development of BETZ and the most suitable technologies that should be a part of BETZ and 3) Profiling the Lebanese technology industry and comparing it to its main competitors in the region. InfoPro proposed that the study be conducted through two phases; Phase 1 – a sectoral analysis of the technology sector in Lebanon and Phase 2 – a qualitative overview of the technology sector. Phase 1 was based on an extensive review of secondary sources of information. Data covering a five-year period was compiled in order to carry-out a market trend analysis of the development and growth of the technology sector in Lebanon and provide a preliminary estimation of the hardware and software markets sizes. Phase 2 was based on in-depth face-to-face interviews with experts and professionals in the technology sector in order to establish a SWOT analysis of the Beirut Emerging Technology Zone (BETZ). The aim of the review of secondary sources was to gather information on market patterns and specifically imports, exports, estimated growth rates and market size. The review was also able to provide information on the regulatory aspects of the technology sector. The in-depth interviews were conducted with software developers, hardware assemblers, internet service providers, web developers, in addition to companies in the music, movie and publishing industry. The aim of the in-depth interviews was to help in providing an overview of the technology sector and specifically its main activities and sub-activities, main players, market share of the main players, recent entrants, growth rates among other pertinent information. The in-depth interviews were also able to shed light on the human resource aspect of the sector and a detailed analysis of the success factors of the technology sector, barriers and obstacles hindering its growth, required facilitators for the development of the technology sector in Lebanon, and the perceived competitive advantages and disadvantages of the sector in Lebanon. The in-depth interview ended with the testing of the BETZ concept and the sectors and respective technologies that should be developed by BETZ, the perceived impact of BETZ on the local technology industries, and the regulatory factors that need to be developed or modified as a requirement for the success of BETZ.  InfoPro was able to provide the PCA with the key success factors for technology industry in Lebanon based on short, medium and long-term action plans,  a SWOT analysis of the BETZ project, and a matrix defining the sectors and respective technologies within each sector that shall be developed at BETZ.