New Phase in Qatar’s R&D Program

The official opening of Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) will take place on 16 March 2009, marking a new dawn of scientific innovation in the Middle East.

QSTP will be inaugurated in the presence of 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, in a glittering ceremony before 1,200 prestigious guests.

Among the international guests will be renowned figures in the energy, environment, health sciences and ICT industries, including: Sir Richard Branson, Founder of Virgin; Jeff Immelt, Chief Executive of GE; Linda Cook, Executive Director Gas and Power for Shell; Stefen M. Cassiani, President of ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company; Symal Gupta, Chairman of Tata; Sir Martin Evans, Nobel Laureate in Medicine, Cardiff University; Professor Ian Leslie, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research, Cambridge University.

In another tangible step in Qatar’s journey towards a post-carbon economy, more than $800 million has been invested by Qatar Foundation and its 21 partner organisations in QSTP.

The official opening of QSTP is a milestone in the development of Qatar as a thriving knowledge and research hub. Through facilities, services and support programs, QSTP provides an optimal environment for local and global organisations to undertake research and commercialisation that will create a vibrant R&D community which will benefit Qatar’s society and economy.

QSTP is an integral part of Qatar’s National Vision 2030 which aims, through sustainable development, to transform Qatar into one of the world’s most advanced countries within two decades. As a home for technology-based companies from around the world and an incubator of start-up enterprises, QSTP is a major contributor to the development of Qatar’s post-carbon economy.

The ceremony will feature three specially-commissioned video productions:

* Renaissance, a beautifully animated sequence linking Ancient Wisdom with Modern Technology, set to music played by Qatar’s newly-formed Philharmonic Orchestra;

* Vision, combining spectacular footage of Doha and QSTP with a message by Her Highness revealing QSTP as an exciting and iconic manifestation of the Emir’s vision for Qatar;

* Virtual Boardroom, an insight into the key scientific research activities of QSTP’s partners, presided over by Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of QSTP.

Speaking on the inauguration, Dr. Maini said: “Technology innovation demands a clear strategy and strong partnership between committed companies, the best universities and visionary government. With those foundations firmly in place, we are now proud to celebrate as our applied research programs come to life at QSTP. That research will ultimately become a cornerstone of Qatar’s legacy of scientific achievement and wealth creation.”

Dr. Fathy Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation, said: “The application and commercialization of research at QSTP is a central element of Qatar Foundation’s commitment to the creation of a dynamic, advanced society. The inauguration is a landmark event in Qatar’s journey towards a sustainable post-carbon economy. It is heartening to see the benefits of a coordinated approach to developing this country’s greatest resource – the potential of its people.”

Dr. Abdulla bin Ali Al-Thani, Vice President, Education, Qatar Foundation, said: “This marks a significant stride towards our vision of Qatar as a global leader in innovative education and research. Qatar Foundation is working to create a culture of research at every level, and QSTP has a key role in facilitating the transfer to industry of the knowledge and skills that are developed at Education City.”

Qatar Science & Technology Park became operational in 2004. Qatar’s rapid industrial growth, coupled with its enormous investment in education and science, has attracted many technology-based companies to the country. QSTP is currently home to 21 member organisations in the energy, environment, health sciences and ICT fields.

The opening will attract the attention of the world’s media, with more than 100 journalists expected to cover the event, and will signal Qatar’s emergence as a credible and attractive location for research and development.

About the Qatar Science & Technology Park

Qatar Science & Technology Park works to transform Qatar into a knowledge economy by attracting commercially-oriented research and development. Part of Qatar Foundation, founded by the Emir, QSTP is co-located with campuses of Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M, Weill Cornell and other renowned universities. QSTP provides an environment for local and international companies to interact with the universities and develop new technologies. EADS, ExxonMobil, GE, Microsoft, Shell, Total and others have already committed $225m of R&D investment at QSTP. For more information, please visit:

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