Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) – part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI) – which opened its doors a decade ago, has become an international hub for applied research, technology innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship, and ultimately works to support the commercialisation of market-ready technologies.
Operating as a Free Zone and business park, QSTP is home to entities that strive to develop new high-tech products and services designed to meet local, as well as global, challenges.
From Qatari entities such as Gulf Organisation Research & Development, Qatar Mobility Innovation Centre, and Meeza, to multinational companies such as ConocoPhillips, Cisco, and Siemens, over the course of ten years, 108 companies from 17 countries have operated at QSTP.
A key component of QSTP is its world-class Incubation Center – a tech-focused 12-month programme that helps Qatar-based startups focus on developing a product or service, acquiring early customers, and exploring fundraising opportunities.
With 20 local companies, run by 66 entrepreneurs, incubated so far, success stories include Meddy, which now serves more than 2,000 doctors; Stellic, which has signed agreements with CMU and Tufts University in US; and Bonocle, which won best assistive technology in the Mena region.
A further crucial aspect of QSTP is its acceleration and innovation mindset learning programmes, from the Arab Innovation Academy, which provides real-world insight into developing and launching a tech-based venture, and XLR8, which provides aspiring entrepreneurs with training and mentorship, to Mena Dojo, which, held in partnership with 500 Startups, consists of a six-week period investment program that provides intensive one-on-one training and mentoring.
And, in a decade since its establishment, over 1,000 men and women from around the region, and even further afield, have passed through QSTP’s learning programmes.
QSTP also provides funding opportunities.
Its Product Development Fund helps SMEs and startups develop products and services relevant to the local market needs, while its Tech Venture Fund provides an opportunity for tech founders and entrepreneurs to source seed-stage capital when they are first embarking on their journey.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, executive director of QSTP, said: “Research, development, and innovation 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 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!
“So much has been achieved over the last 10 years, but this journey has only just begun, and there is still so much more to come. We are looking forward to seeing what the next decade brings.”