Research to Startup Program

Creation, acceleration and scaling of startups that leverage technologies developed by leading research institutes and universities in Qatar.

Among the core objectives of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is to create an environment that advances innovation and collaboration by attracting and supporting technology-based startups and entrepreneurs that are focused on the development of tech-based products and services and the commercialization of scientific research.

QSTP has developed the Research to Startup (RTS) program to direct this notable initiative in an effort to support both researchers and entrepreneurs. RTS drives innovation and encourages novel technologies to enter the marketplace through enterprise creation.

In the upcoming cycle of the RTS Program, selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to explore new market applications for technologies developed by:

  • Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), member of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU)
  • Qatar University (QU)
  • Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar)


RTS aims to facilitate the creation, acceleration and scaling of startups that leverage technologies developed by leading research institutes and universities in Qatar.

What is the Research to Startup (RTS)?

The Research to Startup Program (RTS) is the premier QSTP program designated to create spinouts based on high-potential technologies that are developed by the research community in Qatar. The RTS program offers a unique approach and aims to:

  • recruit experienced entrepreneurs and match them with high-potential technologies that have been created in Qatar and;
  • aspires to merge these vetted matches to derive fundable startup ventures.

Supporting Researchers

What can the RTS program do for Researchers?

The RTS program is unwavering in its pursuit of identifying promising research from the research community in Qatar and attracting entrepreneurs from around the world to create impact by translating research findings into various forms of commercialization.

Supporting the Research Community in Qatar

Over the past ten years, the quality and trajectory of research in Qatar has been on a steady rise, resulting in impactful research with favorable consequences locally and across the region. Qatar continues to collectively offer the necessary systems, infrastructure, and culture to bring next generation technologies to life that could have the ability to support globally, scalable businesses.

How can researchers become involved in the RTS program?

The easiest and simplest method to get involved is for us to learn more about the nature of your research, and for you to learn more about the program. Drop us a line at: [email protected]

Supporting Entrepreneurs

Entrepreneurs from around the world are invited to learn more about the technologies and opportunities that exist in Qatar, such as:

  • receiving initial entrepreneurial investment from the QSTP Technology Venture Fund (TVF), to propel an actual startup business opportunity;
  • gaining the ability to leverage the developed IP, and work with mentors to develop a go-to-market strategy;

With the expectation that the entrepreneur will work to acquire a functioning startup team and develop an operational business plan to satisfy the requirements of the first period—until the next funding round.

Program Eligibility

Program Eligibility – Technologies

The RTS program considers technologies that could be of interest to an entrepreneur to leverage, which usually translates to promising results, and a fairly high Technology Readiness Level (TRL), in combination with a broad market application and clarity on the developed IP (no third-party obligations, e.g., LPGL).

Qatar Foundation (QF), Spinouts, and the Research Ecosystem

As the research community in Qatar continues to develop and build a name for itself globally, so have the associated activities at Qatar Foundation. QF’s Research, Development, and Innovation Division is at the forefront of Qatar’s entrepreneurial ecosystem.

QF remains committed to capture some of that value that is being generated to transform technology-based research into impact and benefit Qatar and the world.


Research institutes, universities, and spinouts represent a key pathway for value creation, especially in Qatar. This understanding has led QSTP to develop the Research-to-Startup Program as a mechanism to systematically support spinout creation in consideration of local context and purpose.

The RTS program features two predominant goals:

  • To advance technologies and achieve impact from their usages;
  • To form new spinouts as a means for the RTS program to translate research into economic opportunities.

The RTS program is designed to appeal to advanced entrepreneurs and researchers from world-renowned universities based in Qatar. By working with experienced entrepreneurs, RTS aims to diversify our talent pool and deepen local capacity to undertake cutting-edge research to meet Qatar’s challenges.

RTS, Research, Entrepreneurship, and Return On Investment

Ensuring returns on investments is one of the biggest challenges in research endeavors worldwide. While there are no guarantees that the discoveries can be commercialized, RTS entities have shown favorable outcomes and are poised for exponential growth. The RTS program remains focused on increasing innovation and commercialization, and is positioned to bring about an even stronger and globally recognized entrepreneurial culture into Qatar’s impressive ecosystem.

Benefits of Spinouts

Spinouts comprise complex enterprises within the entrepreneurship research ecosystem. They are companies that evolve from universities through commercialization of intellectual property and transfer of technology developed within academic institutions.

Despite their importance as possible sources of wealth creation and job opportunities in the economy, spinouts are of particular benefit to researchers, their institutions, and offer significant socio-economic benefits as well.

Research Insights & RTS Program

Research initiatives have been an integral component to help build human capacity in Qatar since the inception of Qatar Foundation. In addition to world-renowned universities that have a footprint in Education City, Qatar hosts three national research institutes that are at the forefront of efforts to seek novel solutions to grand challenges facing Qatar and the region:

  • Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)
  • Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI)
  • Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)


Qatar has a rapidly growing research community and the amount of formidable research generated in the past decade has reached respectable levels and played a pivotal role in providing opportunities for researchers and students to conduct research alongside experts in their field as well as with the specialists from Qatar’s research institutes.

Due to supply constraint on tech-entrepreneurs, the RTS program was developed to offer the quintessential model to attract and increase the number of entrepreneurs who recognize Qatar as a highly differentiated research destination—one that has the resources, capabilities, and capacity to be a beacon of hope for global researchers and entrepreneurs who are seeking a comprehensive and innovative approach to delivering astounding initiatives that can be transformative.

Program Partner

Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), in partnership with Global Scaling Academy, support the Research to Startup (RTS) program.

Global Scaling Academy

Global Scaling Academy™ (GSA) was created to share the practices of Silicon Valley’s fastest-growing companies with startup founders and corporate innovation leaders in ecosystems around the world. We project much-needed scaling expertise wherever it’s needed, by bringing a unique approach—blitzscaling—into the equation.

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