Innovation is key to ensuring digital economy and innovative nations will lead the world in the digital era where Bangladesh has a fair chance, speakers at a daylong summit said yesterday.
Local and international experts and leaders of different sectors shared their knowledge and experiences in the 'Bangladesh Innovation Conclave', presented by Microsoft in association with The Daily Star, Beximco Pharmaceuticals Limited and SSD-Tech at Le Méridien hotel in the capital. The first-of-its-kind event was organised by the Bangladesh Brand Forum with the view to pushing the innovation agenda for Bangladesh.
“Participation in the global digital economy is imperative for us,” said Zunaid Ahmed Palak, state minister for Information Communication and Technology, in his presentation.
Creating a digital entrepreneurship platform will enable Bangladesh to innovate faster, create new opportunities, develop technical skills and help realise the vision of Digital Bangladesh.
“This is why the government is also focusing on innovation and digital entrepreneurship development,” he said, adding that the country has targeted to develop 1,000 innovations by 2021.
Palak said the government aims to create a successful innovation, entrepreneurship and venture capital ecosystem.
Mahboob Zaman, managing director of DataSoft System Bangladesh Limited, stressed on sustainable innovation.
“We need proper collaboration between the industry and universities. Without collaboration, no innovation will be sustainable,” said Zaman, former president of the Bangladesh Association of Software and Information Services.
He also said the fourth industrial revolution will happen through digital innovation. “And here, Bangladesh can play an important role,” he added.
Since the majority of the country's 160 million-strong population is youth they can be the change maker, said Sonia Bashir Kabir, managing director of Microsoft Bangladesh.
“Fail first and then you can get success with your innovation. Without failure success could be feebler,” she added.
Syed Farhad Ahmed, managing director and chief executive officer of Aamra Technologies, said they are fully supporting start-ups and have already funded six such companies.
“Anyone can change the face of Bangladesh,” he added.
Kristin Low, co-founder of Brinc Plus, a Hong Kong-based internet of things accelerator, said by 2030 emerging Asia will lead in digitisation, and within next few years most starts-ups will come from this market.
“And if the Bangladeshi youths can present their potential they can grab a big portion of it,” he added.
Kazi Monirul Kabir, chief innovation officer of Spider Digital Innovations of Dubai, and Shariful Islam, managing director of BBF, spoke, among others.