Qatar Science and Technology Park – Where research goes to work

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Hamad Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park

Inside Investor sat down with the Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Hamad Al Kuwari, to learn how the park has grown since its inception just 3.5 years ago.

Q: Can you name some of the companies you have attracted to participate with in research programmes?

A: As part of Qatar Foundation, QSTP is the national agency charged with executing applied research and delivering commercialised technologies. We comprise of international corporations and research institutions, and several smaller outfits which fund new ventures, create intellectual property, enhance technology management skills and develop innovative new products in line with the national vision. QSTP is focused on four thematic areas of research: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies. We currently have 45 partners who are involved in various forms of technology development, particularly in the aforementioned focus areas. A list of all the member companies is of course available for everyone on our website www.qstp.org.qa

Q: Have there been any significant success stories or breakthroughs that have come out of these projects?

A: QSTP is only a three and a half-year old organisation, so taking this into consideration one of our greatest successes is having attracted a substantial number of global technology and research leaders to utilise our infrastructure to conduct their technology Development.  In such a short time, we have been able to establish a solid R&D culture, by providing the ideal environment. As an entity, we are contributing to the pillars of our national vision to enhance human, economic and social development, and we are doing so by training future leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship, diversifying the economy through developing technology-based businesses and delivering solutions to the market that benefit society. In our second phase of development, we will ramp up our R&D infrastructure to attract even more global, regional and local technology development based entities.

Q: Regarding the second stage of development, when will that be complete?

A: We aim to break ground in 2013, with one new facility being completed by 2014, and another by 2016.

Q: How do you attract companies to QSTP?

A: Companies are attracted to the ownership model that QSTP offers, notably the freedom and protection of their intellectual property. QSTP operates as a free zone, allowing foreign companies to set up 100 per cent-owned businesses in Qatar free of tax and duties. In addition, QSTP comprises 45,000 square meters of state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories that provide the conducive environment to carry out cutting-edge research efficiently and confidentially. We are increasingly being seen as an international hub for applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Qatar Science and Technology Park

Q: Would you count Silicon Valley, Silicon Glen in Scotland and other large global tech parks as competition?

A: Certainly not. In fact it is quite the contrary as these are established models which we can learn from. Having said that, our model is geared towards our needs as articulated in the Qatar National Research Strategy.

Q: How are you attracting companies from Asia?

A. We work with many different entities from different regions and our facilities are designed to support extensive R&D in the areas of Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies. Our infrastructure along with our flexibility as a free zone is our biggest asset.

Q: You have said that by 2012 you had hoped to have 50 companies and 1,000 staff. Have you achieved that?

A: Yes we have and in just three and a half years. Today we have over 1000-strong staff, which includes all individuals that work at the science park for the various entities in our premise, as well QSTP management. As for the number of 50 entities, the assumption was made based on a footprint per entity, where the needs of some entities were more than what was forecast.

Q: Looking forward, what other areas of research are you planning to specialise in?

A: QSTP aims to grow Qatar’s knowledge economy by encouraging companies and institutes from around the world to develop and commercialise their technology in these sectors in Qatar and we will continue to focus on this. In addition, we have a big responsibility and commitment to develop the role of Qataris themselves in the R&D technology sector and this includes providing high tech training, supporting new business startups and enhancing technology management skills. The move towards a knowledge based society requires focus and this is how we are structured for the coming years ahead.

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Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hamad Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park

Inside Investor sat down with the Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Hamad Al Kuwari, to learn how the park has grown since its inception just 3.5 years ago.

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Hamad Al Kuwari, Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park

Inside Investor sat down with the Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park, Hamad Al Kuwari, to learn how the park has grown since its inception just 3.5 years ago.

Q: Can you name some of the companies you have attracted to participate with in research programmes?

A: As part of Qatar Foundation, QSTP is the national agency charged with executing applied research and delivering commercialised technologies. We comprise of international corporations and research institutions, and several smaller outfits which fund new ventures, create intellectual property, enhance technology management skills and develop innovative new products in line with the national vision. QSTP is focused on four thematic areas of research: Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies. We currently have 45 partners who are involved in various forms of technology development, particularly in the aforementioned focus areas. A list of all the member companies is of course available for everyone on our website www.qstp.org.qa

Q: Have there been any significant success stories or breakthroughs that have come out of these projects?

A: QSTP is only a three and a half-year old organisation, so taking this into consideration one of our greatest successes is having attracted a substantial number of global technology and research leaders to utilise our infrastructure to conduct their technology Development.  In such a short time, we have been able to establish a solid R&D culture, by providing the ideal environment. As an entity, we are contributing to the pillars of our national vision to enhance human, economic and social development, and we are doing so by training future leaders in innovation and entrepreneurship, diversifying the economy through developing technology-based businesses and delivering solutions to the market that benefit society. In our second phase of development, we will ramp up our R&D infrastructure to attract even more global, regional and local technology development based entities.

Q: Regarding the second stage of development, when will that be complete?

A: We aim to break ground in 2013, with one new facility being completed by 2014, and another by 2016.

Q: How do you attract companies to QSTP?

A: Companies are attracted to the ownership model that QSTP offers, notably the freedom and protection of their intellectual property. QSTP operates as a free zone, allowing foreign companies to set up 100 per cent-owned businesses in Qatar free of tax and duties. In addition, QSTP comprises 45,000 square meters of state-of-the-art research facilities and laboratories that provide the conducive environment to carry out cutting-edge research efficiently and confidentially. We are increasingly being seen as an international hub for applied research, innovation and entrepreneurship.

Qatar Science and Technology Park

Q: Would you count Silicon Valley, Silicon Glen in Scotland and other large global tech parks as competition?

A: Certainly not. In fact it is quite the contrary as these are established models which we can learn from. Having said that, our model is geared towards our needs as articulated in the Qatar National Research Strategy.

Q: How are you attracting companies from Asia?

A. We work with many different entities from different regions and our facilities are designed to support extensive R&D in the areas of Energy, Environment, Health Sciences and Information and Communication Technologies. Our infrastructure along with our flexibility as a free zone is our biggest asset.

Q: You have said that by 2012 you had hoped to have 50 companies and 1,000 staff. Have you achieved that?

A: Yes we have and in just three and a half years. Today we have over 1000-strong staff, which includes all individuals that work at the science park for the various entities in our premise, as well QSTP management. As for the number of 50 entities, the assumption was made based on a footprint per entity, where the needs of some entities were more than what was forecast.

Q: Looking forward, what other areas of research are you planning to specialise in?

A: QSTP aims to grow Qatar’s knowledge economy by encouraging companies and institutes from around the world to develop and commercialise their technology in these sectors in Qatar and we will continue to focus on this. In addition, we have a big responsibility and commitment to develop the role of Qataris themselves in the R&D technology sector and this includes providing high tech training, supporting new business startups and enhancing technology management skills. The move towards a knowledge based society requires focus and this is how we are structured for the coming years ahead.

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