The Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council, the national entity established in 2018 for the promotion of RDI in Qatar, recently gave an update regarding its Qatar Open Innovation (QOI) programme.
The programme, launched in 2022, has achieved significant milestones, fostering collaboration between large local enterprises and the global innovation community. There were 46 Open Innovation Calls, in partnership with 19 local partners across key sectors like AI and technology, agriculture, energy and environment, healthcare, and transportation.
The programme received 1,154 submissions from innovators worldwide. Qatar was the second-largest source of applications – 129 applications were submitted by Qatari Companies, 11% of the total number of applications submitted.
Eng Omar Al Ansari, Secretary General of QRDI Council, said:
‘The Qatar Open Innovation programme is a vibrant marketplace for innovative technologies developed by the private sector, to be codeveloped in collaboration with Qatar’s large local enterprises and government agencies. The programme is dedicated to promoting technology development teams in Qatar, creating opportunities for local talent in the private sector, and attracting the best international talent to contribute to Qatar’s innovation ecosystem. The programme also allows Qatar’s most important enterprises across various economic sectors to access new-to-market technologies, empowering them to overcome business challenges and achieve global leadership.’
So far, 20 innovation opportunities have been awarded to innovative private sector companies, leading to technology codevelopment and piloting projects in various implementation stages.
Digital Port & Marine Services Platform Supported By Blockchain Technology – Milaha
One such project recently completed was the ‘Digital Port & Marine Services Platform Supported By Blockchain Technology’. In this, Milaha (Qatar’s first shipping agent) collaborated with American data management startup Vendia to optimise maritime functions. Proof-of-concept was successfully demonstrated in two use cases, showing significant improvements in operational efficiency. This led Milaha to embark on the development of a larger scale digital maritime ecosystem for Qatar port.
Smart Tools for Audio Analytics in IoT Networks – Ooredoo
Another project nearing completion is the ‘Smart Tools for Audio Analytics in IoT Networks’, where national telecomms company Ooredoo partnered with Groundup.ai, a startup company from Singapore specialising in IoT (internet-of-things) solutions. The project led to the development of a highly accurate predictive model for asset failure, which offers potential new business opportunities for Ooredoo to explore in the facility management, manufacturing, and oil and gas industries.
These projects highlight the Qatar Open Innovation programme’s effectiveness in fostering collaborative innovation and demonstrate its role in driving technological advancements and environmental sustainability in key industries.
The large local partners have appreciated the diversity of both local and international companies to the open innovation opportunities, and how the selection process showcased a number of technical skills and talent, affirming the programme’s role in advancing innovation within Qatar. Talking about their expected collaboration with the awarded companies, the partners are enthusiastic about unveiling new initiatives in partnership with the QRDI Council under the QOI programme.
Qatar Open Innovation Programme
The Qatar Open Innovation programme is a collaborative platform for start-ups and companies to engage in open innovation challenges available by potential government and corporate buyers, and co-create market-ready solutions. The start-ups and companies can connect with industry leaders, and pilot groundbreaking innovations that address the nation’s most pressing challenges in the five national priority areas of energy, health, resource sustainability, society, and digital technology, as outlined in the QRDI 2030 Strategy.
The QRDI Council is a leading government entity in advanced research, global collaboration in innovation, and attracting global talent to Qatar. The Council strives to make Qatar a top destination for global talent and a pioneering research, innovation, and development hub with its motto ‘locally empowered, globally connected’. Playing a pivotal role within the Qatar National Development Strategy, the QRDI Council is actively shaping the Innovation component of the Economic Diversification goal. The Council’s commitment underlines its unwavering dedication to Qatar National Vision 2030. QRDI Council aims to make Qatar a global innovation hub and a top choice for R&D centres worldwide, seeing RDI as vital for Qatar’s growth and prosperity.
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