10 most exciting innovation places in the Muslim world

February 18th, 2014 | by MuslimScience
10 most exciting innovation places in the Muslim world

Innovation spaces come in many shapes and sizes. Starting from the legendary Silicon Valley in Northern California, to Route 128 in Boston, Research Triangle Park in North Carolina, Multimedia Super Corridor in Malaysia, and Bangalore in India, innovation spaces have been a talk of popular business and technology press, but have often defied formal analysis and policy models. Part of the lure of the Silicon Valley, is in its culture, its willingness to accept failure, and the eagerness of its investors to take a chance.  At a smaller scale too, innovation spaces are often defined by the electrifying energy, that is often ‘in the air.’


In the Muslim World, like in the rest of the world, the last decade or so has seen the emergence of innovation spaces, that have begun to exude this electrifying energy, this daring passion, and the entrepreneurial spirit critical to success. Here is a list of the most exciting ones among them…



Innovation Spaces in the Muslim World - Inputs and Outputs

Innovation Spaces in the Muslim World - Salient Features(1)

Methodology: The Art and the Science of Innovation

1. Quality of the Environment

The quality of the environment is measured by availability of a menu of facilities and activities such as Hot Desking, Shares Services, Finance, Training, Private Sector Engagement, etc.

2. Access to Finance / Investment

Access to finance is measured by availability to seed capital and access to expansion stage capital for the entrepreneurial entities.

3. External Linkages

External linkages are measured by the number and density of linkages with academia, industry, and government, as well as with other partners internationally, for knowledge sharing and networking.

4. Media Profile

Innovation Space’s Media profile, is measured by the frequency with which it features in the formal and social media, as well as mentioned on the internet.

5. Globally Successful Companies

Globally successful companies are measured by number of companies, that have ventured abroad and made a name in the global markets and the size of their success.


  • Extensive Support (e.g. free space, equipment, and legal, marketing, and IP services)
  • Some Support (e.g. free space, some shared services)
  • None to Minimal Support (e.g. No or charged space, minimal services)


  • Formal and Extensive (e.g. a formal training programme aimed at achieving an objective)
  • Informal but extensive (e.g. informal training sessions organized regularly)
  • Minimal and sporadic (e.g. minimal training carried out sporadically)


  • Equity Investment/Fundraising (e.g. Active angel network, or access to venture funds, etc.)
  • Some Funding Support (e.g. some informal seed investment or stipend support)
  • No Funding (e.g. no formal funding support or structures)


  • Privately-Owned (e.g. a privately owned innovation space by one group or more)
  • Public-Private (e.g. a public-private owned innovation space publicly funded by private-run)
  • Public Sector (e.g. a publicly owned and managed innovation space)


  • Formal Linkages (e.g. formal R&D relationships with universities)
  • Informal Linkages (e.g. co-located with university but no formal R&D relationships)
  • No Linkages (e.g. no formal or informal relationships with universities)


  • Extensive Linkages (e.g. an Entrepreneur in Residence Programme)
  • Moderate Linkages (e.g. Extensive Interactions but no formal 24×7 presence)
  • Little or No Linkages (e.g. No formal linkages)




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