Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), through its world-class Free Zone and Incubation Centre for tech innovation, is leading Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Investment’s (QF RDI) efforts of advancing a vital innovation ecosystem in Qatar.
This ecosystem facilitates the development of new high-tech products and services, supports the commercialisation of market-ready technologies, and offers state-of-the-art facilities specifically designed for tech-based companies, according to QSTP Park & Free Zone management director Ahmed al-Said.
Speaking in a recent media tour, al-Said said QSTP, a part of QF RDI, is home to and business partners with several of the biggest global companies in the world that have jointly delivered impactful and measurable benefits for Qatar.
In a presentation, al-Said disclosed that over QR4.3bn has been invested in RDI activities by international companies registered at QSTP the latter having made 115 investments in regional companies through its partnership with Silicon Valley-based 500 Startups.
He said companies operating at the Free Zone have benefited from the advanced infrastructure provided by its state-of-the-art building and offices. Additionally, the legal framework allows 100% ownership for foreign investors, in addition to exemption from taxes and customs duties.
“Through its Product Development Fund, QSTP has provided more than QR13mn to SMEs in Qatar to support them in developing new technology products. Through Tech Venture Fund, QSTP provides seed funding for Qatar-based startups through convertible notes in the range of $100,000 to $500,000. Additionally, QSTP can be a source of follow-on capital after a lead institutional investor is firmly on board with an average ticket size of $1mn to $3mn,” al-Said pointed out.
More than 50 companies, including 20 international companies, are currently based at QSTP. They include ConocoPhillips Global Water Sustainability Centre, Total Research Centre Qatar, Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre, ExxonMobil Research Qatar, Cisco, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Corporation, and Siemens, among others.
The core of QSTP’s strength is in international business and research partnerships. International companies can leverage on Qatar Foundation’s unique ecosystem where research facilities and end-users are brought together in an enclosed physical space, the incubation of a venture is encouraged, innovative technology is developed, and seed financings and counselling are provided.
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