Tech entrepreneurs, or techpreneurs, from all over the world recently joined a week-long startup boot-camp organised by Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), to help transform advanced innovative technologies into Made-in-Qatar technology products.

The boot-camp is the first phase of QF R&D’s Research-to-Startup (RTS) programme, designed to facilitate the creation, acceleration, and scaling of startups that leverage technologies developed by the research institutes of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).   

The boot-camp involves workshops and activities between seasoned techpreneurs and researchers in an attempt to boost the tech-innovation sector in Qatar. With the support of professional coaches and mentors, the programme aims to establish teams to create fundable, scalable business plans for potential spun-out tech-startups.

Dr Hamad Al Ibrahim, Executive Vice President of QF R&D and Chairman of QSTP Board, said that Qatar Foundation supports a broad range of national and global research and development challenges, aimed to contribute to Qatar becoming a competitive and diversified economy. For this to happen, research needs to translate into products and platforms that can impact the way people live and do business in Qatar.

Our Research-to-Startup programme is designed to leverage the technologies generated by QF researchers to provide tech-entrepreneurs with ideas to trigger and fuel the creation of technology startups at QSTP, which is QF R&D’s arm supporting the establishment of a local and regional innovation ecosystem.’

HBKU President Dr Ahmad M Hasnah said that knowledge-based economies have their roots in research, and the ultimate goal of research is to get commercialised and act as a launchpad for product development companies.

We are delighted with this seamless work between QSTP and QCRI. We are hopeful the HBKU research will ultimately enrich people’s lives locally and internationally.’

On technologies discussed during the week-long boot-camp, Dr Hasnah elaborated:

We are familiarising the entrepreneurs with six advanced technologies that have market potential and have received acknowledgement worldwide. For example, we have QATS platform, an advanced Arabic speech processing technology, including speech-to-text and dialect detection using speech signal. Another one is Rayyan, which is an end-to-end collaborative platform (web and mobile) to expedite the creation of systematic reviews using text-mining, machine-learning, database, and multi-facet navigation/filtering, in addition to many others.’

The RTS programme’s call for applications was announced last January. From hundreds of applications, QSTP selected 20 techpreneurs from Qatar, the region, the US and Europe. By providing the right environment and tools to collaborate with researchers on potential business opportunities, formulated teams are expected to establish startups with a defined tech-product.

QF centres participating in the RTS programme include: Qatar Science & Technology Park, Qatar Computing Research Institute, and QF Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office.

Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is home to a unique ecosystem that promotes the development of human capital and fosters a culture of creativity and innovation, which enables local researchers and innovators, in collaboration with international talent, to address local and global research and development challenges.

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