The global sustainability movement has gathered pace in recent years as individuals, businesses and entire nations work together to address the climate crisis, the impact of which is already being felt by those living across the Middle East due to rising temperatures. Using renewable energy sources and sustainable materials, as well as deploying innovative technologies, are all ways in which populations can both mitigate and adapt to the negative impact of climate change, and all of these also underpin the solution developed by Qatari startup Ibtiker.
Over the past few years, the team at Ibtiker has developed its Oxy Water Tank Cooler, which uses cutting-edge innovation to offer a sustainable and portable alternative to usual water coolers. The product runs on solar power so is efficient to operate and is made out of recyclable plastic material.
Ibtiker Technology & Services was launched in 2016, with the aim of bringing new and innovative tech ideas to the local and regional market which could benefit the environment and the community. OXY was born as a result of extensive research to find the gap in the market and identify the need for an easy to use and environmentally friendly water-cooling system. The company ran a comprehensive feasibility study and found that water cooling tanks were not easy to find for individual users, and that there was a demand for a portable solution that customers can easily install on their own.
Oxy operates based on a high-pressure system in the cooling process. The device contains sensors that measure the temperature and turn off automatically, which preserves electricity consumption, making it more sustainable than alternative options. Its compatibility with direct power voltage from an electrical source at home means that it uses 114 watts per unit, allowing the device to save up to 228,000 watts of energy per year. The product was recognized at the World Cup 2022 for Invention and Scientific Research, organized in Tunisia last year, under the supervision of the International Federation of Inventors’ Associations (IFIA), winning the gold medal and the shield of the competition.
Mohsin Al Shaikh, founder of Ibtiker said: “We developed Oxy to solve a clear need for those living and working in climates such as that found in Qatar, but we also wanted to make this as sustainable and accessible as possible too. Therefore, we focused on creating an advanced technology-based solution which essentially circulates evaporating steam inside the water tank to quickly cool down temperatures from 45 degrees Celsius to 28 degrees Celsius during hot summer days.”
In its role to realize the national drive toward economic diversification and sustainability, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), a member of Qatar Foundation, focuses on supporting startups that create innovative products and services that drive positive impact in the local market and beyond. This is why Ibtiker approached QSTP and was able to secure the support of its funding program.
“QSTP’s funding played a fundamental role in the development of our business, but also the success of our product overall, including how we created it and launched it into the market. Due to this support, we have been able to increase our sales and gain more customers; we have received a pre-order of 3000 OXY devices per year for the next three years, from Consol Construction & Trading, a leading local company specializing in water storage solutions, resulting in revenue of around 13 million Qatari riyals. We look forward to continuing to contribute to the progression and development of the cooling technology industry and plan our upwards trajectory during 2023,” Alshaikh said.
Nicolas Missy, Managing Director of Consol Construction & Trading acknowledged the value that Oxy brings to the market in terms of environmental friendliness, cost-efficiency and ease of maintenance, and said: “We tested the device and while there are a few improvements that can further improve the product, Oxy has the potential to be in each home in the Gulf region as it is easy to install (plug and play) and is safer from a health perspective. The device can cool the water down to 28°C which is more than enough for human usage. It also saves on energy while doing so as it uses a small turbine, as opposed to the devices using a compressor that are currently in use and need 3 amps of electricity to work.”
Ibtiker aims to become one of the biggest manufacturers of innovative solutions in the region by expanding their services across the GCC and other countries with ambient temperatures of higher than 40–45-degree Celsius.
Since its launch in 2016, QSTP’s funding, a cost sharing initiative, has helped over 35 Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) with subsidy grants. Applications are currently open until May 20 for cycle 7 of the funding program. To read more and apply for the fund, visit https://qstp.org.qa/product-development-fund/