Project Title

Support to Iran’s SMEs through investment promotion and technology transfer in energy and environment


Islamic Republic of Iran

Government Coordinating Agency   

Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea

Implementing Agency


Main Local Counterpart

Department of Environment Islamic Republic of Iran – DOE


The objective of the project is to support the Iranian Government in upgrading and strengthening the competitiveness of the industrial SMEs in Iran by identifying and promoting sustainable investment and technology transfer opportunities in selected renewable energy and environment sectors, with the aim of supporting sustainable development, local job creation and fostering international partnerships in alignment with ISID – Inclusive and Sustainable Industrial Development and Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 7 on sustainable energy and SDG 9 on sustainable industrial development.

Specifically, theprojectseeks to:

  • attract investment in renewable energy, environment and related infrastructures;
  • innovate and facilitate technology transfer through promotion of investments opportunities;
  • raise awareness and disseminate technical competences to local stakeholders, in particular with the support of local institutions;
  • support technological upgrading and market access of local SMEs;
  • increase capacities of Iranian institutions operating in the renewable energy and environment sectors and promote international partnerships;
  • facilitate and develop trade networks both at SME and institutional levels.


The main target group is represented by local SMEs operating in renewable energy and relevant environmental issues. Projects from a number of SMEs will be identified, assessed and promoted to the Italian business community in order to find potential partners for investments and joint-ventures, as well as technology transfer and capacity building opportunities.


To pursue the project objective UNIDO ITPO Italy, in synergy with the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, will establish and operate a focal point in Iran that will assist in field UNIDO ITPO Italy in scouting an ad hoc portfolio of sustainable investment opportunities in the country and open up new international partnerships, working also in close cooperation with other institutions in supporting the local private sector.

UNIDO ITPO Italy will act as an honest broker in the identification and formulation of investment projects in Iran and will promote them through its network and amongst the Italian and International business communities. UNIDO ITPO Italy will liaise with Italian companies and business associations and carry out follow-up activities to ensure interaction between the linked counterparts.

Expected Outcomes:

Following project activities, assisted SMEs will be strengthened and geared to local, national and international markets, pursuing the objectives and commitments of SDG 7 and SDG 9.

It is expected that the project will contribute to:

  • disseminate knowledge to local SMEs and support local institutions in identifying and promoting sustainable investment projects;
  • support international partnerships between local and international stakeholders demonstrating technical viability of innovative technologies on renewable energy and environmental techniques.

Why Iran?

Iran has a lot of potential, it is a country that boasts a domestic market of more than 80 million people, 11% of the world’s proven oil reserves, 15% of the world’s proven gas reserves, 11 petrochemical complexes, 3 major steel plants. Some of the features are highlighted below:

  1. Strategic Location: a unique geographical location at the heart of a cross-road connecting the Middle East, Asia and Europe, empowered by many inter- and trans-regional trade, customs, tax and investment arrangements.
  2. Market Potentials and Proximity: vast domestic market with a population of more than 80 million growing steadily as well as quick access to neighboring markets with more than 300 million inhabitants.
  3. Work Force: large pool of trained and efficient manpower at very competitive costs in a diversified economy with an extensive industrial base and service sector.
  4. Abundant Natural Resources: varied and plentiful reserves of natural resources ranging from oil and gas to metallic and non-metallic species reflecting the country’s accessibility to readily available raw materials.
  5. Climatic Characteristics: a four-season climatic endowment as a privilege to agricultural activities throughout the country and throughout all seasons.