On October 21, 2019, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) celebrated its 10 year anniversary. QSTP, which is a free zone and business park, has three main objectives: to support entrepreneurs via funding, technical expertise, training, and mentorship; to accelerate and facilitate product innovation and/or development by collaborating with the private sector or with the Qatar Foundation; and to foster an environment of cooperation to attract and/or assist the commercialization of promising products or services.
QSTP’s avant-garde work in research, development, and innovation can be seen with the Arab Innovation Academy (AIA). AIA is the largest entrepreneurship program in the Arab region that offers the unparalleled opportunity for entrepreneurs to successfully build and establish their start-ups in only 10 days. Currently, QSTP houses a total of 108 companies from 17 different countries worldwide. Examples of such companies and/or entities include Gulf Organization Research & Development, Meeza, Qatar Mobility Innovation Center, Cisco, Siemens, and ConocoPhillips.
In addition, QSTP’s Incubation Center attests to Qatar’s global leadership in the fields of innovation, research, development, and entrepreneurship.
This can be seen with MENA Dojo, an accelerator program that organizes intensive one-on-one business mentoring sessions over a period of six weeks, or with the center’s technical assistance to Qatar-based start-ups to enable them to develop and finalize their products for commercialization. So far, more than 1,000 entrepreneurs have benefited from such a platform and opportunity.
Yousouf Abdulrahman Saleh, executive director of QSTP, emphasized its important role in Qatar by stating, “research, development, and innovation (RDI) are integral to Qatar’s sustainability and resilience, and it is, for this reason, it is a priority in the country’s agenda. RDI will play a key role in developing and diversifying the economy as well as enhancing the capacity to create solutions to address national challenges and make a global impact. The unique ecosystem we have created here at QSTP encompasses the entire value chain of education, research and development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. QSTP is the place where technology goes to work.”
In essence, QSTP underscores Qatar’s commitment to becoming an international hub for technology and innovation, while augmenting the country’s long-term national development goals delineated in the Qatar National Vision 2030.
(Image Source: Qatar Museums)