QATAR - Economy
Executive Director, Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation
Yosouf Abdulrahman Al-Salehi joined QSTP as executive director in 2018. Over the past 24 years, he has held technical, management, and research positions in the oil and gas industry in Qatar, starting his career in the petrochemical sector, focusing on quality control, technical service, and product development. In 2007, he joined the Qatar Shell Research & Technology Centre (QSRTC). In 2011, he was vice president at QSRTC where he oversaw its USD100-million investment in research. He also managed Qatar Shell’s collaborations with various local and international academic institutions.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Al-Salehi: Qatar has undergone a rapid transformation over the past decade, including the transition toward a knowledge-based economy. For QSTP, our greatest success in that time is that we have established ourselves, and therefore Qatar, as an international hub for applied research, technology development, innovation, and entrepreneurship. Some QAR4.3 billion has been invested in R&D&I activities by international companies registered at QSTP. While leading global tech companies have invested in Qatar through QSTP’s free zone, our comprehensive programs have also contributed to significantly enhancing the landscape for start-ups and entrepreneurs in Qatar and which see them through their entire entrepreneurial journey
Yosouf Abdulrahman Al-Salehi: Qatar has always looked to the future in order to improve its economic and social standing on a global stage. The World Cup has been one element of this, but the country’s vision is much more far-reaching. Organizations like QSTP are proof of that vision and Qatar will be well prepared for continued development after 2022. All of the work and investment that has been put into the country’s development, whilst accelerated by the hosting of the tournament, is part of a bigger, longer-term future for the country. The Qatar National Vision 2030, for example, is a road map for Qatar to become an advanced society capable of sustainable development, with the goal of providing a high standard of living for all citizens. Over the past few years, Qatar has weathered the same storm as other countries across the world, as a result of the pandemic. The disruption of markets globally has catalyzed technological innovation, and we have seen years’ worth of R&D&I activity take place within weeks. Our work to position Qatar as a global technology hub has meant the country can capitalize on the potential of R&D&I to transform our world and address global challenges, by turning ideas into impact.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Al-Salehi: QSTP is an integral part of Qatar’s rich and diverse R&D&I ecosystem. Today, the value of RDI cannot be overstated as it is the pathway for turning the research and technologies into tangible products and services that improve people’s lives. Not only that, RDI is vital for Qatar’s transition from a hydrocarbon economy to one based on intellectual capital. But to capitalize on the potential of R&D&I to transform our world and address not only Qatar’s challenges but those facing our global population—including climate change, health, energy, sustainability, water, and food security—we need to turn ideas into impact by taking the technologies, products, and services to the market. QSTP does this by ensuring a robust support system catering to all stages of tech entrepreneurship are provided for. Our range of support such as mentorship, accelerators, grant funding, and investment programs are accessible to all entrepreneurs to foster innovation and drive the creation of impactful products and services for local and international markets.
Yosouf Abdulrahman Al-Salehi: We work with a wide range of innovators and entrepreneurs, from school-age and university students to experienced start-up founders. The unanimous feedback we receive from them is that our programs have allowed them to turn their ideas and ambitions into reality, and that they benefit from QSTP as an impactful local, regional, and international platform through which they can contribute new and innovative ideas that can help to solve real-world issues. By nurturing this talent, we are positively impacting the flow of new products and services into the Qatari and global market, and ultimately benefiting the businesses and consumers that can use them. 6
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