QSTP invites entrepreneurs to apply for Research to Startup program

Program offers platform to commercialize scientific findings in Qatar

QSTP invites entrepreneurs to apply for Research to Startup program

Doha, Qatar: Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), is inviting technology entrepreneurs from around the world to apply for the second cycle of its Research to Startup (RTS) program, an innovative platform that enables the commercialization of scientific research findings in Qatar.

Selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to explore new market applications for technologies that have been developed by Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University, a member of Qatar Foundation (QF); Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar, a QF partner university; and Qatar University.

The successful first cycle of RTS was launched in 2017 in partnership with Wasabi Ventures Global, attracting over 300 applicants. Wasabi Ventures Global is an international firm that specializes in co-founding, investing in, incubating, building, and advising early stage technology companies.

Through the RTS program, QSTP aims to introduce experienced entrepreneurs to high-potential technologies created in Qatar, with the objective of developing fundable startup ventures. Through the formation of new spinouts, the RTS program is helping translate research into economic opportunities and achieve impact in addressing priorities from the use of advanced technologies.

In addition to being a source of wealth creation and job opportunities, spinouts are of particular benefit to researchers and their institutions, because not only do they identify promising local research, but they also offer opportunities of creating impact by translating the research findings into various forms of commercialization.

Mr. Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director, QSTP, said: “We are excited to commence a new cycle of our premier RTS program after a successful first edition. QSTP is proud of this unique initiative, which is effectively bridging the gap between research and venture creation, through a process of match-making researchers and their technologies with experienced tech entrepreneurs.

“We are excited to once again offer support to these entrepreneurs in the form of seed investment to launch the next generation of tech companies in Qatar, stemming from the exceptional work being done by our highly-regarded local research community.”

Applications for the second cycle of RTS are open until September 1, and will be followed by a competitive screening process. The program will consist of three phases, commencing with a five-day bootcamp in Qatar, hosted by QSTP this October. In Phase 2, participants will spend one to three months building a business base, locally or internationally, with the goal of developing a fundable operational plan. During the final phase, startups that are selected will return to Doha to pitch their ideas to an international panel of industry experts to potentially receive an investment through QSTP’s ‘Tech Venture Fund’ (TVF). The TVF provides an opportunity for tech founders and entrepreneurs to source seed-stage capital. Using the TVF, successful teams will be able to execute their business model in QSTP’s Free Zone to accelerate their ventures.

Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation at QF, said: “The RTS program plays a vital role in helping diversify our talent pool and building local capacity to innovate. We strongly believe this program will continue to grow and further enrich Qatar’s research and innovation ecosystem, as well as contribute to the national drive toward sustainable economic development and diversification.”

RTS participants will join entrepreneurs from around the world to learn more about leading, cutting-edge technologies developed here in Qatar, and explore the many unique opportunities to leverage these technologies, with the potential to scale their business models internationally.

To learn more about the second cycle of RTS or to apply, please visit https://www.qstp.org.qa/rts

Qatar Science & Technology Park

Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI), is a Free Zone, accelerator, and incubator for tech-product development in Qatar. The park fosters an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in Qatar that works to accelerate commercialization of market-ready technologies to realize Qatar’s national diversification drive.

QSTP’s focus ranges across four overarching themes, comprising Energy, Environment, Health Sciences, and Information & Communication Technologies, in line with the Qatar National Research Strategy announced in 2012.

Located in Qatar Foundation's Education City, QSTP has access to the vital resources of a cluster of leading research universities. Members of QSTP’s Free Zone include SMEs, international corporations, and research institutions. They are collectively committed to investing in new technology development programs, creating intellectual property, enhancing technology management skills, and developing innovative new products.

QSTP supports QF RDI’s economic and human development objectives for Qatar and is increasingly recognized as an international hub for applied research, innovation, incubation, and entrepreneurship.

For more information, please visit the QSTP website at www.qstp.org.qa

Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI)

The Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation (QF RDI) division’s role is to play an integral part in identifying and addressing challenges and opportunities across ICT, energy, environment, healthcare, and agribusiness, in alignment with Qatar’s national RDI strategy and priorities. QF RDI is at the forefront of Qatar’s innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem, accelerating economic development through supporting the commercialization of market-ready technologies and facilitating the creation of new high-tech products and services.

QF RDI is responsible for translating Qatar’s national RDI strategy into specific initiatives and actions for Qatar Foundation’s (QF) RDI entities. It also directs their efforts in relation to economic value creation, knowledge transfer, and the establishment of mutually-beneficial national and international RDI partnerships. To ensure these efforts deliver maximum impact, the QF Vice President for Research, Development, and Innovation plans, coordinates, and oversees all RDI-related activities across QF.

Qatar Foundation – Unlocking Human Potential

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF) is a non-profit organization that supports Qatar on its journey to becoming a diversified and sustainable economy. QF strives to serve the people of Qatar and beyond by providing specialized programs across its innovation-focused ecosystem of education, research and development, and community development.

QF was founded in 1995 by His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, the Father Amir, and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, who shared the vision to provide Qatar with quality education. Today, QF’s world-class education system offers lifelong learning opportunities to community members as young as six months through to doctoral level, enabling graduates to thrive in a global environment and contribute to the nation’s development.

QF is also creating a multidisciplinary innovation hub in Qatar, where homegrown researchers are working to address local and global challenges. By promoting a culture of lifelong learning and fostering social engagement through programs that embody Qatari culture, QF is committed to empowering the local community and contributing to a better world for all.

For a complete list of QF’s initiatives and projects, please visit: www.qf.org.qa

For any media inquiries, please contact: pressoffice@qf.org.qa

© Press Release 2019

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