The Jordanian government aims to generate 10 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2020. This is both an environmental and an economic imperative. Renewable Energy (RE), such as that generated by solar panels, will help reduce reliance on carbon fuels and their rising costs; Energy Efficiency (EE), through LED and similar technologies, will boost the efficiency of Jordanian enterprises, making them more competitive. Recognizing this priority, the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program has worked with the clean tech business association EDAMA as well as the Ministry of Environment and the Electricity and Minerals Resource Commission to develop rules and regulations governing the roll out of electric vehicles across the country—a success story in its own right—as well as train renewable energy engineers to fill positions made possible by the Kingdom’s increasing transition to solar sources of energy. The latter was based on a JCP-commissioned labor study, completed early in the project’s lifetime, which showed a 25 percent year-on-year increase in demand for RE engineers in Jordan.
By its second year, the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program had sealed the deal on three major partnerships—with Microsoft, Intel, and “Girls in Tech”—that have led to greater training and employment opportunities for Jordan’s talented young professionals. These one-off partnerships, exciting as they have been, contributed to the development of Jordan’s ICT “ecosystem,” a vibrant sector fueled by young talent, smart investments, and innovation like that on display at Jordan's first-ever Maker Competition—also sponsored by JCP. Exposing Jordan’s talent to such opportunities has extended to international expositions as well, with JCP supporting the Kingdom’s first booth at a major ICT pavilion in year four—an effort that has already led to six-figure investments in the participating firms as well as worldwide media exposure. Working with the ICT association int@j, seed fund Oasis500, and start-up incubator iPARK, JCP has institutionalized this work to support at least three dozen successful start-ups and create more than 100 jobs. What’s more, this impact is being felt beyond Amman, with iPARK establishing ICT incubators in Irbid and Aqaba with JCP support.
Health and Life Sciences
Jordan’s pharmaceutical companies export 80 percent of their production to 75 countries worldwide, in addition to supplying 30 percent of all pharmaceuticals sold on the domestic market. In 2013, pharmaceuticals topped the list of Jordan’s largest exports, representing nine percent of the country’s total exports and helping reduce Jordan’s external trade imbalance. At the same time, lagging technological systems—including for the registration of generic drugs produced in the country—and a largely static network of Contract Research Organizations (CROs) threaten to reduce Jordan’s regional market share. In addition to its work matching CROs with international pharma companies—an effort that has already netted approximately a million dollars in new research contracts—the USAID Jordan Competitiveness Program has worked with the Jordan Food and Drug Administration (JFDA) to decrease a significant backlog of registrations for generic drugs and worked with both the JFDA and the private sector to improve and streamline the drug registration process. JCP has also provided assistance to the industry to further streamline the process for registering drugs, especially for export, by automating the registration process through implementation of an Electronic Common Technical Document system (eCTD) for drug registration.