Hi- tech and knowledge based industries (both goods and services) have a high potential for entering more diverse markets in comparison to other items – that in most cases are based on cheap energy, need for larger investments, and have low value added ratios – in Iran export basket. Increasing this section share in Iran export basket, destinations increasing dependency to Iran domestic technologies and as a result, establishing sustainable benefits in relations, are considered to be advantages of this domain in diversifying export markets. In the year ended in March 2017, knowledge- based companies’ sales reached to 6.45 bn USD. Current knowledge- based companies’ share from GDP is 0.5% and according to general knowledge and technology policies for 2025 vision, the technology and knowledge based economy’s share from GDP is determined to rise to 50%.
To this day, 2901 knowledge- based companies have been established from which 1718 companies (59.2%) are startups, 865 are production knowledge- based companies (29.8%), and 318 industrial companies with knowledge- based activities (10.9%). As it its exhibited, major share of knowledge- based companies are startups that have little economic impact. On the other hand, large industrial companies that could have a significant role in realization of a knowledge- based economy, hold a little share in total knowledge- based companies.
Table 1 Various types of knowledge- based companies’ status
Figure 1 Share of each industrial, production, and startups established companies in knowledge- based industry
Table 2 High tech & Knowledge – based companies in various fields
Figure 2 Share of various fields in knowledge- based industry
Recent Trends in Knowledge- based Industry
– A fifty- fold increase in verified knowledge- based companies, which lead into crossing more than 2,900 companies
– Knowledge- based companies’ sales crossing 6.45bn USD by the year ended in March 2017
– Institutionalizing support for acquiring knowledge- based companies’ tax exemption
– Institutionalizing support for acquiring knowledge- based companies’ custom duties exemption
– Allocating 500 mn USD to innovation and flourishment fund in lining with knowledge- based companies support plan despite government’s limitation in financial resources
– Institutionalization and serious participation of private sector in knowledge- based companies’ capability promotion and evaluation
One of the Iran nanotechnology initiative council’s executive plans in the year ended in March 2016, was to support nanotechnology related inventions patenting in credible international patent organizations. In the following tables, data for nanotechnology patented and granted (final registration) inventions in these organizations has been provided and it is divided by registration year.
Table 3 Comparison between Iran total granted inventions (in all science and technology fields)
and nanotechnology granted inventions in credible international patent organizations
Table 4 Comparison between total Iran published inventions (in all science and technology fields)
and nanotechnology inventions in credible international patent organizations
Table 5 Nano- product industrial firms’ establishment and development
According to the Scientometrics Office of scientific Information Center (ACECR), Iran was ranked 11 in 2015 regarding “aerospace engineering science production” and with publishing 107 scientific documents, Iranian researchers could achieve rank 1 in middle- east. Aerospace industry’s needs are various in Iran. The Macro policies followed in recent years was that the field’s authorities sought to produce above 150- person capacity commercial planes, but currently joining global value chain, producing parts, and designing systems for famous international companies is the goal in focus. Hence, about 48 private companies from which some are knowledge- based and also 10 public sector companies active in producing abovementioned items, exist in Iran. These companies will join global value chain by acquiring international standards. In fact, majority of knowledge- based companies in engineering and technical domain, has the capacity to contribute to aerospace industry.
One of the listed goals in national biotechnology act is to achieve 3% of international biotechnology market by 2025 of which 0.5% has been actualized. Although 3% of anticipated financial resources and credits are dedicated to biotechnology development, but in 2015, in producing science in this field, Iran has achieved the first rank in region and the rank 14 in the world regarding published scientific articles. Also Iran holds second place in producing neo- complex factor VII medicine in the world. Another index listed in national biotechnology act is educating 16,000 graduates in biotechnology field and number has currently reached 15,000.
S W O T
– Active and talented human capital, experts, and researchers
– Founding academic courses such as technology administration and science and technology policy making
– Knowledge- based companies’ technological products variety for export
– Knowledge- based companies’ self- reliance on their intellectual and labor force
– Active and influencing centers in developing science and technology policies
– Shortage of financial resources for venture capital and granting low interest loans for knowledge- based affairs
– Absence of proper domestic market for knowledge- based products
– Inaccessibility to knowledge- based product’s international markets
– Lack of financial ability for promoting Knowledge- based companies product’s by international standards
– Foreign competitions with famous brands and inability to compete with these companies
– Lack of sufficient marketing knowledge among knowledge- based companies
– Inviting and welcoming experts who have immigrated
– Export potential considering the lifted sanctions
– Markets such as automotive, construction, agriculture and defense industry products are based on nanotechnology products and have permanent clients, these markets certainly require creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship continuously.
– Brain drain
– weakness in intellectual property protection in some knowledge based sectors
– Taxable incomes of knowledge- based companies and institutions from contracts, research and development activities, commercializing, manufacturing products and services are exempted from taxation mentioned in article 105 of direct tax act for 15 years.
– Knowledge- based companies and institutions are exempt from paying custom benefit taxes, custom duties, and export duties.
– State organizations can spend a minimum 1% of foreign origin purchased goods and services price for domestic research and development, designing, commercializing, and product manufacturing or related services through knowledge- based companies and institutions.
– In executing Article (9) of the act and with the aim to create and develop knowledge- based companies and also promotion of international cooperation, it is permitted for research, technology, and engineering units stationed in technology and science parks to enjoy free trade zones legal benefits regarding work relations, tax exemptions, foreign investment duties, and international financial transaction in order to carry out their assigned missions.