*QSTP celebrates 10th anniversary

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, on Monday attended the ‘Catalysing The Future’ celebration of the 10th anniversary of Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP).

‘Catalysing The Future’ was attended by HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani, Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and HE Dr Khalid bin Mohamed al-Attiyah, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs, and Chairperson of the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council, alongside ministers and dignitaries, and representatives from Qatar’s research, development, and innovation (RDI) ecosystem.

It marked Qatar Foundation’s (QF) achievements in the field of RDI and emphasised how a nationwide commitment to advancing innovation will create a “legacy” for Qatar, looking ahead to the next phase of the nation’s RDI journey. QSTP, which hosted the event, has become a national and regional hub of technology innovation and development since its establishment by QF 10 years ago.

‘Catalysing The Future’ highlighted how the culture created by Qatar Foundation in education, research, development, and innovation has provided the platform to take RDI in Qatar to a new level – supporting the nation’s economic and social development, and underpinning its self-sufficiency and sustainability.

It also spotlighted the role that QSTP, part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation, will play in accelerating Qatar’s business RDI sector and making it a global destination for technology companies and talent.

The programme culminated with a speech by HE Dr al-Attiyah, who chairs the Qatar Research, Development and Innovation Council, a national body charged with creating a nationwide strategy for research, development, and innovation, QRDI 2030, and the operating model for its successful execution.

With its creation being mandated by Qatar’s second National Development Strategy, QRDI 2030 will contribute to the transformation of the nation’s social and economic future, and HE al-Attiyah said that Qatar’s goal is to rank among the world’s most advanced innovation economies.

Speaking about the importance of the National Strategy for Research, Development and Innovation 2030, he said: “With this strategy, we are honoured to provide our country with a new national legacy towards 2030; a legacy that befits its ambition, protects its national interests, and reinforces its position and global leadership. A new legacy for an ambitious homeland, under the banner of our Amir, that is focused on research, development, and innovation.

“We will work tirelessly to realise Qatar’s vision of becoming a knowledge-based economy.”

He acknowledged the magnitude of the challenge ahead, but highlighted that an upcoming RDI roadmap for Qatar will create a new legacy for the nation that protects its national interests and reinforces its global leadership position.

Dr Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation at Qatar Foundation, said QF has built a “world-class” RDI infrastructure, established science and technology-focused academic institutions, and supported technology entrepreneurs, innovators, and businesses “to build market-driven innovations and to translate the outcomes of our research into solutions to challenges that Qatar and the world face.”

“QF, together with other RDI organisations in Qatar, has nurtured a vibrant, globally-recognised research culture – bringing together local, regional, and international researchers and innovators, and producing outcomes that place Qatar on the world map as a leader of discovery,” he said.

“These are the foundations of an RDI environment built for impact – impact that people can see and feel, and that will make Qatar ready for whatever the future holds.”

He outlined how QF-driven research in areas such as AI-driven language translation and genomics is being taken forward at QSTP, which now aims to attract more global technology firms and innovators. “We want people to recognise QSTP as a hub of innovation and realise that Qatar is the premier destination for them to make the impact they aim to make,” he said.

“RDI in Qatar is a journey. And it is a journey as important as any that Qatar will ever undertake.”

"Catalysing The Future" saw Akbar al-Baker, Qatar Airways Group Chief Executive and Secretary-General of Qatar National Tourism Council, announce the launch of a “revolutionary” new engine-cleaning system, developed in partnership with GE, one of QSTP’s international partner companies. Qatar Airways will be the first airline in the world to use the GE360 Foam Wash, which will improve engine performance and fuel efficiency, reduce maintenance demands, and use 40% less water.

“QSTP’s role as an incubator of research and development, and a nourisher of an innovation ecosystem, has been at the core of our advancements,” he said. “QSTP has paved the way and built an international hub that connected us with world-renowned high-tech businesses, supporting us as we strive toward revolutionising products in the aviation industry.

“Moving forward, we anticipate working even more closely with QSTP and GE as we continue to revolutionise technology in the aviation industry, and setting a new benchmark for innovation within the upcoming decade. A new journey to the future of research and development has begun, and I am delighted that Qatar Airways is part of it.”

David L Joyce, Vice Chair of GE and President and CEO of GE Aviation, described QSTP –home to GE’s Advanced Technology & Research Center since 2011 – as having made “incredible progress in a decade”, saying: “It is visionary, setting a goal and inspiring others to join it on the journey; it is collaborative, working across boundaries to unlock collective intellect; and it is innovative, with forward-thinking, groundbreaking, and sustainable technology being developed.”

Her Highness Sheikha Moza toured an exhibition highlighting the achievements of technology ventures that have been incubated at QSTP in the fields of applied research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. She was accompanied by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, and HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Defence Affairs.

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