Doha, Qatar: Qatar, Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council announced the launch of the Industry Innovation Challenge (IIC) in collaboration with Milaha, a pioneering initiative aimed at fostering open innovation on a broader scale on the second day of Web Summit Qatar.

The IIC presents a unique opportunity for companies to contribute to breakthrough solutions aligned with a larger mission. This program provides grants to multiple companies proposing holistic, technology-based solutions for specific challenges. Each challenge will be championed by a main partner, potentially joined by support from government entities and large local enterprises (LLEs).

Eng. Omar Ali Al-Ansari, Secretary General of the QRDI Council said “We are thrilled to unveil the IIC in partnership with Milaha, a testament to our commitment to driving innovation at a broader scale. This initiative not only fosters open collaboration but also provides a platform for visionary solutions to address complex industry challenges. The IIC reflects our dedication to advancing technology-based solutions and fostering a culture of research and development in Qatar. Together with Milaha, we look forward to propelling the nation towards a sustainable and knowledge-driven future.”

Mr. Fahad Bin Saad Al-Qahtani, Milaha's Group Chief Executive Officer said: “Milaha’s innovation journey has been greatly accelerated with our partnership with QRDI Council. With their generous and active support, we’ve piloted successful blockchain and AI projects and this initiative represents another unique innovation opportunity at a much larger scale for the country. Sustainability is a key priority for the country and our industry. “Environmental Development” and “Economic Development” are key pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030, and the reduction of greenhouse gasses is a key priority for the maritime industry. Building an electric-powered vessel, one where the value chain can be localized as much as possible represents a transformative ambition for all of us. We look forward to working with our partners and taking on this initiative to build a proud product of Qatar.”

Five outstanding companies will be selected for each IIC, with a substantial USD 5 million allocation for the program. The piloting partner can be either the IIC Champion or other partner entities. However, awarded companies must be based in Qatar to receive the full award beyond the initial $100K. NineSigma, a trusted innovation partner, has been contracted by QRDI to serve as the IIC delivery partner.

The IIC encompasses a visionary call for proposals to address complex industry challenges. It involves the formation of industry clusters by bringing together multiple actors and offers higher prize awards for piloting more intensive R&D projects.

The intended outcomes of the project include upskilling Large Local Enterprise (LLE) champions, formation of industry clusters, implementation of a minimum of five pilots, and development of talent.

Milaha will play a pivotal role as the Cluster Lead. This involves assigning a Project Lead, Technical Lead(s), Communication Focal Point, and Legal Focal Point. Milaha will actively participate in the Call Design, review, and approve the final call as the main opportunity owner, lead the evaluation of submitted proposals in collaboration with QRDI, and select and award the piloting projects with QRDI.

Three sub-challenges within the Industry Innovation Challenge are as follows:

  1. Design and construction of next-generation harbor craft.
  2. Energy Harvesting and charging system for electric harbor craft.
  3. Integrated Central Information System (ICIS) for Maritime Operations.

Companies interested in participating are encouraged to submit proposals addressing one or more of these sub-challenges.

QRDI Council and Milaha are excited about the transformative potential of the IIC, bringing together innovation, industry collaboration, and sustainable solutions to advance Qatar's research and development landscape. To learn more about this initiative, visit this link.

As anticipation mounts for the remaining day of the summit, the QRDI Council looks forward to further collaboration and knowledge exchange propelling Qatar's innovation landscape forward.

For more information on the QRDI Council’s activities and to plan your visit to Pavilion E201, please visit our dedicated web page:


About QRDI Council

QRDI Council is a leading government entity in advanced research, global collaboration in innovation, and attracting global talent to Qatar. The Council strives to make Qatar a top destination for global talent and a pioneering research, innovation, and development hub with its motto “locally empowered, globally connected”. Playing a pivotal role within the Qatar National Development Strategy, the QRDI Council is actively shaping the Innovation component of the Economic Diversification goal. The Council’s commitment underlines its unwavering dedication to the Qatar National Vision 2030. QRDI Council aims to make Qatar a global innovation hub and a top choice for R&D centers worldwide, seeing RDI as vital for Qatar's growth and prosperity. To delve deeper into QRDI Council's endeavors and vision:


Stay Connected: Engage with the QRDI Council on various social media channels to stay updated on the Council’s latest activities and achievements.

About Milaha

Milaha was established in July 1957 as the first public shareholding company registered in Qatar, with Commercial Registration No. 1.

Milaha owns and operates a diverse fleet of vessels for the offshore oil and gas sector, and for the marine transportation of gas, petroleum products, and containers. It is also involved in providing logistics services, agency services, freight, and warehouse management.

Additionally, Milaha operates a shipyard and has significant real estate and capital market investments including port management. The legal entity name listed on the Qatar Stock Exchange is “Qatar Navigation Q.P.S.C” (QNNS).

For more information, please visit the company's website at

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