Qatar Report


Futuristic, state-of-the-art
Science & Technology Park opens

 

Qatar’s state-of-the-art Science & Technology Park (QSTP), was officially inaugurated by His Highness the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation.

The high-tech complex, with its eye-catching futuristic architecture, is a major stepping stone in Qatar’s National Vision 2030, which aims to transform Qatar into an advanced country by 2030, and which is being driven by the Qatar Foundation. Education and healthcare lie at the core of this vision.

Qatar Foundation was established in 1995 to guide the building of a knowledge-based society in Qatar and forms the foundation for the 2030 vision which rests on four pillars of development – human, social, economic and environmental.

Addressing dignitaries at the inauguration, His Highness the Emir said: “As we have planned for our national vision by the year 2030, we are confident that QSTP as a component of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, will be a tributary for human development, an incubator of creativity and innovation, a safe haven for free scientific research, a magnet for national and international expertise, and a space where cultures and ethnicities integrate.”

The QSTP acts as a fully fledged research hub for a number of companies that have partnered with QSTP and will serve as a platform for the integration of education, research and business. To date 21 companies have joined QSTP, including the likes of Shell, ExxonMobil, ConcoPhilips, Cisco, Chevron, GE and Virgin.

QSTP is located in Qatar’s Education City, which is home to the branch campuses of several leading universities including Weill Cornell, Texas A&M and Carnegie Mellon among others. Here it will play an in important role in education as well as research.

Speaking at the inauguration, Dr Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of QSTP, said that the Park was delivering a “unique approach to accelerating research, in a nation where education and healthcare are the centrepiece of a clear national strategy.

“QSTP is an engine that drives forward applied research and technology development in Qatar. We are creating an environment and the means to build human capital and spawn new technology-based industries; the building blocks of the government’s long-term vision to create a post-carbon economy.”

Dr Abdullah Bin Ali Al- Thani, Vice President- Education for Qatar Foundation, said: “In our current reforms in Qatar we are striving to nurture the curiosity that inspires scientific investigation from the earliest stages. Research is being built into our entire university system and Qatar Foundation is helping create a research orientation in our students through the Qatar National Research Fund.”

Funding


QSTP’s 21 partner companies have committed US$225 million of R&D investment at QSTP, while Qatar Foundation itself has invested $600 million building the science park. The Government has committed a total of 2.8% of GDP to funding research, although this will also be spread across other facilities, such as Qatar University and Sidra, an ultra modern academic medical research centre that is due to open in 2011.

Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre, Virgin Health Bank and GE are among some of the healthcare sector operations that have setup at QSTP. The Robotic Surgery Centre will serve as a regional training centre for surgeons in the region using the Da Vinci surgical robot.

Virgin Health Bank – a cord blood stem cell bank – will relocate its international headquarters to QSTP along with the commissioning of a state-ofthe- art stem cell processing and cryogenic storage facility. The stem cell bank and health experts in Qatar will explore cord blood stem cells as part of a national public health programme, which is expected to create the world’s first source of stem cells for the indigenous Middle Eastern population.

At the inauguration event it was announced that GE and Qatar’s health authorities would establish a new learning centre that will demonstrate the latest advances in patient healthcare, offer education and training on the implementation of advanced clinical IT solutions.

Dr Fathy Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation, described QSTP as a vital component of Qatar Foundation’s master plan. “Since the inception of Qatar Foundation, we have seen the building blocks of a knowledge-based society emerge at our pioneering project: Education City. We have now begun to fulfil the second element of our mission – science – by creating in Qatar an entire, full-fledged research environment.”



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ate of upload: 16th May 2009

                                  
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