The American University of Beirut (AUB) inaugurated the Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park during a ceremony at the Beirut Digital District on Monday, September 2, 2019. Chairman Philip S. Khoury, members of the AUB Board of Trustees, President Fadlo R. Khuri, senior AUB officials, and members of the Zein family attended the event that included a tour of the new facility in the Beirut Digital District.
The Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park has been funded by the Zein family in honor of the late Talal Zein and his wife, Madiha Zein. Talal Zein was a widely respected visionary and charismatic entrepreneur who partnered with his wife Madiha to build businesses centered around the shipping and trading of liquid petroleum gas and real estate.
The Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park, which will be led by Professor Salim Chahine, will position AUB at the heart of the entrepreneurship ecosystem. It will be a university-wide initiative and offer a comprehensive program for educating students and alumni, engaging in research on entrepreneurship, and developing innovative ideas and converting them into profitable and scalable startups. “The Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park is a cross-disciplinary space for experiential learning and startup building. Our goal is to make it a place that nurtures the same entrepreneurial spirit that inspired the late Talal Zein,” said Chahine.
In his remarks during the inauguration, Khuri commented on the importance of investing in young people to achieve economic and social growth. He spoke about the significant role that the Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park would play: “This far-reaching initiative will position AUB at the heart of an emerging entrepreneurship ecosystem that is so important to the future of Lebanon. It will also create opportunities for the next generation to propel the knowledge economy of the region, thereby elevating and diversifying the Lebanese economy. The Talal and Madiha Zein AUB Innovation Park is an important part of our vision for the future of AUB and for Lebanon."