Parents are usually not aware of their children’s growth. They know that their children are physically growing up, but they often do not see that. Parents are neither aware of their own changes nor their children’s transformations. These changes are obvious to those who travel for a period of time and do not see these people. Similarly, changes in city are not usually noticed by its citizens. Every day that we open our eyes to our city, we cannot see its changes. Only travelers and tourists could understand these changes since they are away from this place for a period of time. If you compare the pictures taken from Tehran 20 years ago and the most recent ones, you can see how much this city has been changed and we did not notice it. We could not imagine 20 years ago that the current Tehran would be this much “modernized”. Now, we have an electronic government and the majority of people use credit cards and cyberspace for their everyday activities. 20 years ago, if a foreteller would predict that the behavior of the majority of people will change and you would be able to buy groceries “online”, we could not believe it. We would not grasp the idea that an application to provide daily news for us from all around the world. If it was predicted that each citizen will be media and reporter and can independently send messages to the world, we would thought it was an exaggeration. Nevertheless, just looking around us can confirm that this was not an exaggeration.
Now let us go back a little, to the time when all those affiliated with England would not believe that oil will be nationalized. They indicated that oil industry is not a toy to be played with by the Iranian people. Even those supporting the idea of oil industry nationalization had doubts about the whole situation. Nevertheless, we are speaking from experience that Iranian experts not only caused no problem in this process, but they managed the oil industry so much better than their English equals. The same happened in other eras, such as Islamic revolution and Iran-Iraq war. A more recent example would be the support of knowledge-based economy and entrepreneurship ecosystem by the Vice-Presidency for science and technology affairs due to the comments of our Supreme Leader. Many people assumed that this is just a temporary act so that our young population are more optimistic about the future. I am not talking about our opponents, who just humiliate Iran and Iranians, but I am talking about our friends and companions who believe that a silver-tongued person is saying these things and consider them similar to “wishes”. However, after a short period of time, we were ranked below 10 in the world and the region in terms of scientific status of the country. We have about three thousands knowledge-based companies and six thousands enterprises are being evaluated. In addition, it has been reported that knowledge-based economy has provided near one million$ USD for our country. Science and technology updating centers are quickly established, various factors for technology ecosystem, such as innovation centers and incubators, are formed and many startups are carried out. These remarkable changes could be better noticed by those from outside of our country. According to the report for reviewing policies, science, technology and innovation of Iran, which was published in 2016 by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCAD), Iran has made the necessary infrastructures for development of higher education system to expand science, technology and innovation. Currently, we have entered the third wave of innovation ecosystem development through creating the required capabilities for innovation and using knowledge-based economy. We just need to take a better look around us to see the enthusiasm of our young and educated experts. This “scientific enthusiasm” is valuable and we should look after it. Since we are changed along with the changes of the country, it is not clear for us how it happens. However, those who are observing our situation from the outside can recognize these changes better. In less than a decade, we have been able to pass the theories in the field of science and technology ecosystem and reach performance and implementation. Today, we are happy that our young students are at their bests.
While we have a long way to reach an ideal level in this regard, the general trend of the country is moving toward the scientific growth. The increasing growth of knowledge-based market is predicted due to several repeated emphasis, follow-up and support of our Supreme Leader and efforts by the president and government officials, especially institutes related to science and technology. However, the main burden is on the shoulder of our smart young population, who appreciate the provided opportunity and even turn the political and economic threats, such as sanctions, into opportunities for the development of science and technology. We should be grateful for their efforts and all of their innovations, which have led to significant growth in our nation. Now, all of those who come back to their homeland after a long time, cannot recognize the changes in the country just by walking in the streets and looking at buildings. They need to visit knowledge-based companies, science and technology parks and research centers to learn about the enthusiasm of young people and understand that today’s Iran is how different that the old Iran. This is why we can have an optimistic perspective toward the future.
Advisor to the vice president for science and technology affairs