Critical Factors in Promoting Sustainable Innovation in Bahrain

Ahmed Al-Ansari (Alansari Studios, Bahrain)
Hassan AL Mohsen (Education Consultant, Bahrain)
Christine (Noor) Elizabeth Coutts (Education Consultant, New Zealand)

Article ID: 4596


Despite many initiatives to help foster innovation over the last decade, Bahrain has yet to realise its full potential, indicated by low levels of published research, patent registrations, and entrepreneurial activities. The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted the importance of sustainable innovation for economic recovery. This study aimed to identify the critical factors needed to stimulate innovation, as well as any barriers. Using a case study approach, emerging findings from an online survey of participants from a range of private and government organizations were explored through in-depth interviews with selected "innovation influencers". It was found that the economic and cultural environments in Bahrain favor a conservative approach to innovation, with the opening of new market opportunities with existing products the most reported form applied. The need for a sustainable economic recovery post-pandemic has raised awareness of the importance of innovation in all its forms. The environmental factors influencing innovation are charted in an ecosystem model, with effective leadership and a national strategy identified as key components. The Innovation Ecosystem derived from this case study of Bahrain has wider applicability as a benchmarking framework. By mapping the local context against framework elements, identified gaps can usefully inform a sustainable innovation strategy at both a national and organizational level.


Sustainable innovation, Innovation ecosystem, Bahrain

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