Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), Qatar’s primary accelerator and incubator for technological development, has hosted another successful TECHtalk expert discussion, under the theme ‘Industrial Technology and Commercialisation’.
The event saw QSTP and the Korea Institute for Advancement of Technology (KIAT) – with whom QSTP has a knowledge-sharing agreement – present best practices from different perspectives that highlight the technological experiences of Qatar and the Republic of Korea.
In the opening discussion, Mr Hamad Al Kuwari, QSTP Managing Director, addressed the commercialisation of technologies from the R&D stage to their successful introduction into practice, and the vital role of technoparks in this process.
“Technology parks are central to activating the catalytic process which fosters business development,” he said. “New R&D firms create entrepreneurships and new job opportunities for highly qualified people. They also improve the country’s physical and technological infrastructure, attract foreign investment and create a stimulating environment with unique facilities and quality services.”
As part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), QSTP contributes to the advancement of Qatar’s industrial technology development by helping to consolidate the state’s infrastructure. QSTP also plays an important role in connecting Qatar with other countries by forging relationships with foreign universities, research institutes and multiple sectors through outreach, collaboration and partnership.
Mr Al Kuwari emphasised the value of the Qatar-Korea collaboration. “Through discussions between QF R&D representatives and their Korean counterparts last year, numerous agreements were set, specifically between KIAT and QSTP,” he revealed. “These agreements outline, and work towards, establishing policies on industrial manufacturing and creating an ideal ecosystem of collaboration.”
Mr James (Jung-Wook) Kim, KIAT Global Strategy Planning Team Leader, described KIAT’s role as a quasi-government institute offering various support mechanisms. In the area of technology commercialisation, KIAT’s Commercialisation Support Division identifies viable technological assets, and manages a global technological information service network for the commercialisation of technology and effective investment in R&D.
"R&D is meaningless until it is put to use,” he said. “Money and time are required for the commercialisation of technologies, and these are not always available. Korea has a top ranking in investment and research, but still lags behind in the commercialisation aspect, making it important to initiate programmes that support tech transfer. That is what our National Tech Bank does, and this is why we value the rich exchange between KIAT and QSTP in terms of sharing knowledge and experience on best practices, successful entrepreneurial programmes and favourable industrial policies, in addition to providing mentorship opportunities."
At the TECHtalk event, senior QSTP officials gave a presentation on the technology park’s highly successful support programmes which, since their launch, have empowered young innovators and made valuable contributions across numerous sectors in Qatar.
The QSTP Accelerator, a three-month pioneering business incubation, training and mentorship programme, is now reviewing applications for its fourth cohort. The initiative aims to support budding entrepreneurs in Qatar and help them transform their ideas into viable commercial ventures, addressing key needs in local and international markets. The programme serves as a vital stepping stone for aspiring entrepreneurs, offering the support and guidance that is crucial during the early stages of bringing a business idea to life.
QSTP also boasts a state-of-the-art Incubation Centre, home to a two-year, technology-focused incubation programme that fosters local entrepreneurship and innovation in Qatar. The centre supports the establishment and growth of promising start-up businesses through business facilitation, funding, subsidised office space, and other business support services.