The Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the German Federal Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses (BVMW) yesterday to enrich the economic and technological landscapes in both countries.

The MoU was signed on the sidelines of the Qatar Economic Forum 2024 during ‘Innovation Day’ by Engineer Omar al-Ansari, QRDI Council secretary general, and Christian Tarik Schwippert, managing director at the German Mittelstand GCC Office, in the presence of German ambassador Lothar Freischlader and Saleh Majid al-Khulaifi, Assistant Undersecretary for Commerce Affairs at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Freischlader said, “I congratulate both BVMW and QRDI Council for this MoU. It will not only open new channels for German start-ups and SMEs to funding opportunities, but it will also strengthen Qatar’s leading role in innovation and scientific research in the region and further contribute to bolstering Qatari-German relations.”

Al-Ansari said, “Our partnership with the German Mittelstand GCC Office serves our shared goals towards sustainable economic growth based on innovation and technology.

“Through this partnership, we will be working together to facilitate collaboration between research institutions and industries from Qatar and Germany, and to support German SMEs in identifying market opportunities in Qatar and vice versa.”

He added: “With programmes like Qatar Open Innovation, we will be able to pilot and adopt technologies developed by German SMEs in Qatar, which serves one of the main goals of the QRDI 2030 Strategy, aligned with the Third National Development Strategy, and Qatar National Vision 2030, positioning Qatar as an international hub for RDI activities.”

In a statement, Schwippert said: “Our partnership with QRDI Council has a strategic importance to bolster Qatari-German relations through initiatives focused on research, development, and innovation.

“This partnership will particularly support the SME sector, facilitating growth and development for businesses in both countries. Furthermore, the cooperation will promote a culture of information exchange and expertise sharing among the international RDI ecosystem.”

This MoU establishes cooperation between both parties to foster innovation, research, and economic development in Qatar and Germany, enhancing knowledge exchange and technological cooperation among the SME sector, supporting the development of joint research and innovation projects, as well as facilitating business and industrial partnerships, in addition to organising joint events, workshops, and seminars to promote mutual interests.

As the Innovation Sponsor, QRDI Council partnered this year with Bloomberg to host ‘Innovation Day’ on the third day of the forum, featuring various sessions and discussions dedicated to science, technology, and innovation.

Speakers from different sectors across the RDI ecosystem conducted sessions and engaged in discussions on utilising innovation, technology development, and RDI talent to reinforce stable economic growth for a better and more sustainable future.

Since its establishment in Doha in November 2022, after holding a strategic partnership with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry (MoCI), the GCC headquarters of the BVMW Association, the German Mittelstand GCC Office, has organised a number of high-ranking delegations on both governmental and non-governmental levels, focusing on various sectors, including infrastructure and smart city building, artificial intelligence, agritech, insuretech, healthcare, healthtech, and semiconductors, amongst other sectors.

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