Mashhad Innovation Factory

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Main actors

City Government

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Project area

Inner City

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2019 - 2021

Connecting people, knowledge and ideas.

Mashhad Innovation factory provides a platform that efficiently connects people and encourages collaboration and knowledge exchange. Organisational issues are presented as challenges and this encourages participants to share and develop ideas. 

Mashhad Innovation Factory offers the resources for job creation including infrastructure, trainers, investors and access to service providers for the startups and businesses located in the Factory.

The Factory paves the way for the development and growth of start-up businesses by building constructive communication channels within the city innovation ecosystemThe Factory also facilitates engagement between business pioneers and those who are at the beginning of their business journey. 

Sustainable Development Goals

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all
Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation
Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development
Mashhad, Iran

Size and population development
The 2016 census data recorded the population of Mashhad at 3,001,184. The population change from the previous census in 2011 is +1.93%. The Mashhad population comprises 50.2% males and 49.8% females. 69.2% of residents are aged between 15-64, 25.7% of residents are children aged 0-14 and 5.1% are aged 65 or over. Mashhad is a multiethnic city that includes Persians (92.5%), Khorasani Hazara Persians (7.0%), Khorasani Turks (0.5%), Khorasani Kurds (0.5%), Arabs (0.1%). There are groups of immigrants from Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. The language mainly spoken in Mashhad is Persian. Source: Statistical Centre of Iran

Main functions
Mashhad is the second most populous city in Iran and the capital of Khorasan-e Razavi Province. The city covers a total area of 351 km2 and is located in the Kashaf River valley at an elevation approximately 1,000 metres. Mashhad is an important pilgrimage site, as second-largest holy city in the world it attracts more than 20 million tourists and pilgrims every year, many of whom come to pay homage to the Iman Reza shrine.

Main industries / business
Mashhad’s main industries include natural gas and light industrial enterprises, such as food, and the production of textiles, jewellery carpet & rugs, valves, pipes, fittings, water heaters, air coolers, and ceramics. Mashhad exports electrical power, gas, minerals, livestock, cotton fibre, saffron, grains, sugar beets, cement, and construction materials.

Administrative structure
The city of Mashhad is the seat of Mashhad shahrestān (county), which is a part of Khorāsān-e Razavī ostān (province). The province is governed by a provincial governor (ostāndār); the shahrestān is ruled by a regional governor (farmāndār); The Islamic City Council of Holy Mashhad is the directly elected council that presides over the city of Mashhad and elects the mayor in a mayor–council government system. The city has 13 districts.

The Mashhad Innovation Factory is located in the former Coca Cola factory. The factory’s floor space is 10,000 m2 of a of 37,000 m2 space that is surrounded by a park that is 27,000 m2. The factory had been vacant for a long period of time and the building had become rundown and the park area overgrown before the Mashhad municipality took ownership.

The objectives of the Mashhad Innovation factory are:

  • To provide the opportunity of establishing the cooperation and utilizing the individuals’ capabilities/potentials and sharing the existing skills in a form of teamwork.
  • To provide a professional environment for the owners of new ideas and businesses to work.
  • To create an atmosphere to facilitate the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the Khorasan province.
  • To Fulfil all the needs of the domain of the business in a centralized form such as market advisory, coaching, product advisory, assessment/analysis, attracting investors, advertisement, etc.

After the city management made the decision to establish the Innovation factory specific actions were taken concerning some of the old buildings. First, the buildings with the possibility of being preserved and restored were identified. Having evaluated the foundation stability of old buildings the strip foundations were designed on the former foundations. Then, the metal skeleton of the industrial sheds was reinforced, sandblasted, and paint removed. Finally, the metal parts of the industrial shed were coloured with certain thicknesses.

In order to speed up the process, the main and exterior layers were made in the form of pre-constructed walls. These layers were produced outside of the project workshop and then transported to the factory for installation. 

Other construction stages were as follows, cladding the roofs with sandwich panels, operating the curtain wall system, cladding transparent layers with resistant laminated glasses to the sun rays, central air conditioning and heating system, the fire alarm and extinguishing system to provide adequate safety according to state-of-the-art standards. 

Utilizing the materials and state-of-the-art technology in the construction of the Innovation factory of Mashhad is among the most significant actions adopted. 

The lead agency for the project is the Mashhad Municipality and the finance is made available from the credits of Mashhad Municipality civil projects.

  • Synergy of members of Mashhad Innovation ecosystem
  • Consolidation of resources for growth and development for start-up businesses
  • Allocating an professional environment to knowledge-based and innovative companies
  • Allocating a shared workplace to freelancers and start-ups
  • The municipality enters the sphere of the innovation domain of the city
  • Providing an opportunity for the innovation centre of the city to collaborate/ interact with innovators and innovation ecosystem activists
  • Providing the opportunity for organic growth of businesses 
  • Identifying and developing the local capacity for exporting
  • Identifying the capable people and activists in the area of new technologies in the east of Iran to join the Innovation Factory
  • The demand for space is greater than the space available
  • The members’ varied organizational cultures 
  • Diversity of needs among the factory members and responding to them
  • Becoming a reference for other cities to establish centres of urban innovation
  • Providing the opportunity of collaboration/interaction among the innovation ecosystem members

Mashhad Innovation Factory website: Link

Mashhad Innovation Factory Instagram: Link

Mashhad Innovation Factory Twitter: Link

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Mashhad Municipality
Mashhad, Iran

Mashhad Municipality

Institution | Mashhad Municipality

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