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To Advance Qatar's Tech Ecosystem, An Investment In Human Capital Is Needed

To Advance Qatar's Tech Ecosystem, An Investment In Human Capital Is Needed

Qatar Science & Technology Park

Image credit: Qatar Science & Technology Park
You're reading Entrepreneur Middle East, an international franchise of Entrepreneur Media.

Through its numerous affiliate organizations, Qatar Foundation is making a significant impact in the technology and research development sector in Qatar. Thanks to the extensive research being conducted by a number of its institutions including, but not limited to, Qatar Computing Research Institute, Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Carnegie Mellon University Qatar, Texas A&M Qatar, and Weil Cornell Medicine in Doha, Qatar has arguably become the most progressive and largest technology hub in the region.

Largely funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, the research being carried out is advancing the local technology sector, while addressing many local and global challenges. Although our researchers are making tremendous progress in further developing the technology and research development ecosystem in the country, figuring out how we can turn our investment in research and technology development into tangible products and services for the benefit of the wider community remains a challenge.

If we are to make a significant social and economic impact from our investment in technology research, it is crucial for Qatar to continue to advance its local technology ecosystems while integrating into the regional ecosystem. Emphasis needs to be placed on encouraging the private sector and entrepreneurs to not shy away from risk-taking, but to rather branch out from traditional service-based sectors such as transportation, retail, education, healthcare, and finance, and tap into the product-based and solutionbased sectors.

We must make it our priority to challenge industry and thought paradigms that are resistant to change and hinder risk-taking. It is our responsibility to encourage our future leaders to forge a new path and to actively seek out solutions to local challenges through technological innovation.

Related: Three Necessary Factors To Establish A Qatari Silicon Valley

A session in progress at QSTP
Source: QSTP

Having recently taken on the role of Managing Director of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), it is a great honor for me to be part of an organization that aspires to lead on technology entrepreneurship in Qatar and the wider region. QSTP actively explores new routes to advance technological growth in the non-traditional sectors. As the main contributor to the innovation entrepreneurial ecosystem and an applied technology enabler in Qatar, QSTP intends to help with economic diversification and boosting homegrown technologies, as well as investing in human capital that benefits Qatar and the rest of the world. I believe that being adaptable, while remaining focused on our vision, is the key to our success, enabling us to further drive the success of our resident companies, programs, and the local and regional ecosystems.

Investing in human capital is key to addressing the challenge of translating our technology and research development into tangible products or services that have a positive impact on society. This means going beyond the traditional science and technology education into educational and mentorship programs to create know-how in all aspects of product development, innovation entrepreneurship, and creative collaboration.

I have had the privilege of seeing the support Qatar Foundation offers youth in Qatar, and how they are encouraged to be creative, inventive and entrepreneurial. The educational institutions within Education City are encouraging our future leaders to forge a new path and to actively seek out solutions to local challenges through technological innovation.

Youth in Qatar –both local and expats- are our future leaders and the change agents who will one day be responsible for advancing the nation and region through their innovation in entrepreneurship and research development. Nurturing a creative environment that encourages youth to be both adaptable and innovative in the ever-changing technology ecosystem, will inspire them to proactively address local and global challenges through advanced technology and research development solutions that are far-reaching.

Related: The Middle East Is Ripe For Technology Entrepreneurship