Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation, has awarded its Product Development Fund (PDF) to Waasla, a cloud-based supplier relationship management (SRM) platform designed to enhance supplier performance and relations.
QSTP’s PDF assists and encourages small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and startups in priority areas of energy, environment, healthcare, and ICT to develop innovative products or services that are relevant to the needs of the local market. The funding agreement was signed by QSTP executive director Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh and Waasla founder and CEO Ali al-Marri in a ceremony at QSTP yesterday.
Waasla’s platform employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to assist businesses in selecting and collaborating with suppliers. The platform covers all aspects of SRM, from initial registration to ongoing performance assessment, offering businesses a complete view of their supplier relations.
QSTP director of Product Development and Grant Management Fund Aysha al-Hamadi said, “We are happy to ink another funding agreement, this time providing support for Waasla, a promising startup that aims to play an essential role in boosting business productivity in Qatar.
“Through such agreements, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the development of the local innovation ecosystem and contribute to the growth of tech startups and innovative technologies."
Since its launch in 2016, QSTP’s PDF has awarded subsidy grants to 18 SMEs, eight of which have successfully graduated from the programme with innovative products that range from a smart edutainment app, ‘Haya’, by Al-Doha Link, to an autonomous delivery vehicle, ‘Droid’, by Airlift QSTP, and an ‘Automated Customer Profiling Platform’, by iHorizons.
Al-Marri said, “We are excited to secure QSTP’s financial support. Equally important, we look forward to receiving the support of QSTP’s team of mentors, which will be instrumental in the development and marketing of our product in Qatar and the region.”
To be eligible for the PDF, at least 20% of the private sector SME should be owned by a Qatari individual, and the SME should have up to 249 employees. Qatar-based SMEs that are successful in securing PDF support may be awarded funds of up to 50% of the cost of the product or service proposal. Currently, five new projects are under evaluation by QSTP’s team of industry managers, and QF’s research, development, and innovation experts.