An Open Forum took place April 11, at FAFS: The Lebanese Agro-Food Industry and Universities: A Love-Hate Relationship. The event was dedicated to the memory of Dr. Raja I. Tannous, an inspiring figure in the FAFS heritage, Dr. Tannous was the founding chairperson of NFSC and twice served as interim dean. His rich and groundbreaking contributions to the worlds of research, academia, and industry, along with being one of the original supporters of bridging university and industry relationships, are the guiding concepts behind the open forum.
President Fadlo Khuri, and the family of Dr. Raja Tannous attended the opening ceremony and dedication speech, during which a token of appreciation was handed to the late Dr. Tannous’ wife Ms. Lydia Tannous in the presence of his daughter Dr. Lamya Khuri and granddaughter Layla. The event, organized by Associate Professor Dr. Mohamad G. Abiad in collaboration with the FAFS Alumni Chapter, drew over 100 industry professionals, academicians, private and public sector members, NGOs, and research institutions from across the country. Collaboration between industry, academic, and research institutions is instrumental to achieving efficient innovation schemes. In Lebanon, such alliances face pronounced barriers that call for unique approaches.
In his opening remarks, FAFS Dean Mohtar highlighted the importance of the collaboration between industry and academia and the contribution of such alliances to the advancement of research and economic growth.
Participants discussed the challenges facing the relationship between the Lebanese agro-food industry and universities and explored avenues of collaboration, particularly between members of the Lebanese Agro-food industry and researchers in academic institutions, learning from past experiences and building on successful projects. The event was sponsored by Hallab sweets and Balkis.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Abiad announced the initiation of the Dr. Raja I. Tannous Endowed Lectureship in celebration of Dr. Tannous’ contributions and support to his Alma Mater and the Agro-food Industry.