جامعة النجاح الوطنية
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On Wednesday 12 November, the Centre of Innovation and Partnership at An-Najah National University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of National Economy, Salfit Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Salfit Furniture Cluster to establish a Centre of Innovation and Partnership in Salfit Governorate. This Centre will be funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD).

This cooperation aims at establishing a development centre for the Salfit governate furniture industry through training staff members in practical, administrative and modern technical methods in addition to graduation projects and research carried out by instructors and university students in the relevant sectors of this industry.

Professor Maher Natsheh, Acting President of An-Najah, opened the ceremony saying that:

On this day, as we sign this MoU with you, An-Najah National University- on the basis of its strategy of serving the community, stemming from its unique local, regional and international status according to international institutions’ assessment reports- is pleased to join you in founding this centre. An-Najah is working to advance the national economy in the public and private sectors, and particularly the private sector”.

He went on to say:

 “Through this partnership, the University will cooperate with you to provide the appropriate headquarters and educational and vocational training programmes through its faculties and scientific centres, specifically through the School of Fine Arts with its Graphic and Interior Design programmes, and in coordination with other departments with the necessary qualifications and expertise. We will also prepare curricula and training plans in the areas of furniture design and manufacturing. In addition, we will encourage scientific research to ensure continuity of these developments and increased competitiveness, thus providing funding for the establishment of the administrative and technical infrastructure. Next, we will be working on enhancing the centre and linking it to similar centres internationally.

Concluding his speech, Prof. Natsheh extended his wishes of success to the partners involved and thanked his friends in the AFD and the Ministry of National Economy.

After that, Mr Iyad Al-Hindi discussed the importance of this partnership with An-Najah, a prestigious academic and scientific institution in Palestine, and the rewards that this centre will bring to Salfit’s furniture industry. In addition, this agreement serves students by integrating them into the labour market and creating job opportunities in furniture factories.

Next, Eng. Manal Farhan emphasised the significance of this cooperation between the academic sector (An-Najah National University), the private sector (the furniture cluster in Salfit), and the public sector (the Ministry of National Economy), funded by the AFD. She also said that this project is valuable as it creates employment opportunities for alumni, marketing the products of the private sector and strengthening the national economy and competitive Palestinian products in the regional and global markets.

In turn, Mr Amer Ahmad, representative of the cluster, discussed the major role this centre will play in advancing Salfit's furniture industry, thus enhancing the global production and marketing capacity. He then expressed his thanks to the University for its partnership in this field.

Mr Jackie Ambro, Projects Officer at the AFD, congratulated all partners on this worthy accomplishment. He went on to emphasize the value of this centre's support of local economic development.

Afterwards, Eng. Mahmoud Abu-Omayrah, Chief Operating Officer of the project, concluded by thanking An-Najah University for its cooperation and stressing the significance of this project. Then, all parties signed the Memorandum of Understanding.

Notes:

-       The signing was attended by: Professor Maher Natsheh, Acting President of An-Najah University; VPs for Academic and Administrative Affairs and VP Assistant for Community Affairs; Mr Iyad Al-Hindi, Chair of Salfit Chamber of Commerce and Industry, representing the Chamber; Mr Jackie Ambro, Projects Officer at the AFD; Eng. Manal Farhan,  Director General of Industry and Natural Resources and Head of the Development Clustering Project; Mr Ahmad Amer, representative of the Clustering; Eng. Mahmoud Abu-Omayrah, Chief Operating Officer of the Project; and staff members in the Centre for Innovation and Partnership.

-       The Furniture Cluster in Salfit is a group of enterprises and institutions working in the furniture industry with the support of the Private Sector Development Cluster Project (PSDCP), implemented by the Ministry of National Economy in partnership with the Federation of Palestinian Chambers of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture (FPCCIA), funded by the French Agency for Development (AFD).


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