Speech of the UNDP Resident Representative a.i. Ms. Charu Bist

Ideathon on Agrinnovation 4 June, Lankaran

June 4, 2022

Dear Head of Cooperation Section of the EU Delegation in Azerbaijan Mr Victor Bojkov,

Dear Chairman of the Agrarian Services Agency under the Ministry of Agriculture Mr Mirza Aliyev,

All our partners and friends,

All mentors, member of the jury and staff,

And dear representatives of the media,

I am delighted to be here with you at the Ideathon Award and Closing Ceremony 2022. These 2 days marathon is held for the first time in Lankaran with the support of the European Union within the framework of the EU4LANKARAN: “Promoting Competitiveness, Cooperation and Modernization in the Fruit and Vegetable Sector in Lankaran Region” program and co-organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Agrarian Service Agency.

Dear Partners, thank you very much for your support and cooperation!
Dear participants, I express my gratitude to everyone for joining Ideathon 2022. I know that some of you have come here from different parts of Azerbaijan. I hope you will remember these two bright and productive days for the rest of your life. I hope you were able to meet new people, discover innovative ideas, and finally, have a good time in this beautiful city of Lankaran. I am very happy to see women participating in this Ideathon. I am sure that this platform has provided you with a safe space where you have contributed to the teamwork to create solutions addressing the challenges of the horticultural sector in the Lankaran-Astara Economic Region. I am confident that the Ideathon experience has enhanced your professional creativity and self-expression through the most innovative and cutting-edge technology solutions. 
Dear participants, you are also lucky because these days you have been supported by the most creative and innovative mentors. I want to thank them all for their commitment and support. For two days, you were by the side of the participants, helping to develop a unique strategy and guiding them in the right direction. I'm sure the presentations will amaze us all because great minds have worked together on ideas and it's always like a miracle. I know that your presentations will push the boundaries of technological advancement even further, exploring every bit of innovation and creativity.
In every competition there is one big rule: there must be a winner. Fortunately, we will choose not one, but two ideas as winners. The winners of Ideathon 2022 will be the two most innovative, locally relevant two teams in the direction of 1 - improving planting methods and cultivation technologies and 2 - applying modern processing technologies and equipment. But this does not mean that the other 16 teams have lost the chance to implement their ideas. Until the end of 2024, there will be many such projects, so you have an equal opportunity to apply in the future and receive support from us. So don't despair and move forward!
We believe that their ideas will further help the development of the agricultural sector, and in this case, the development of the fruit and vegetable industry of the Lankaran-Astara economic region.
In the end, I would like to thank the jury, which evaluated the most creative startup ideas. Thank you for taking the time to join our team. I know it was not easy for us, but I believe the jury chose two brilliant ideas.
I would like to wish all the participants of this wonderful event good luck!