Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council, in partnership with Ooredoo and Milaha, has announced the launch of the second batch of innovation calls for its flagship Qatar Open Innovation programme (QOI) in an effort to leverage innovation through partnerships.
The QOI partners aim to develop new technologies addressing local opportunities that fall under Qatar's five national priority areas as outlined by the QRDI 2030 strategy, with chosen innovators provided a trusted piloting partner and a testbed for their innovation before they deploy it on a large scale.
Through the second iteration of QOI, QRDI Council has partnered with Ooredoo, the leading international communications company in the Middle East, North Africa and Southeast Asia, and Milaha, one of the largest and most diversified maritime and logistics companies in the Middle East.
This set of innovation calls will focus on innovation opportunities incorporating artificial intelligence, virtual and augmented reality, and machine learning in telecommunications, logistics, and maritime sectors to connect Ooredoo and Milaha to a vast pool of innovators and potential novel technologies or solutions that meet their business needs.
Eng. Omar Ali al-Ansari, secretary-general of the QRDI Council, said: "The QRDI Council plays a major role in enhancing innovation in Qatar and through our QOI programme, we will continue to provide chances for opportunity owners across key sectors to identify their innovation needs and goals.
As we strive to grow Qatar's burgeoning innovation ecosystem, the QOI programme continues to offer opportunities for local and international companies and talent through our renowned connections and expertise to help drive the country towards sustainability and innovation".
Mohamed Abdulla Swidan, interim president and chief executive officer at Milaha, said: "As the leading provider of maritime and logistics solutions in Qatar, Milaha strives to develop its business and expand its service offerings to support the government's plan to provide secure and sustainable supply chain and build a diversified knowledge-based economy.
Being among the strategic partners in the Qatar Open Innovation, we look forward to supporting the research and development initiatives and to promoting innovation and digital transformation that help find creative solutions to facilitate complex processes and encountering business challenges in the maritime and logistics industry."
The QOI programme is a call on local and global innovators to create, in Qatar, technological innovations which address the needs of large local enterprises and government agencies.
It connects innovators from startups, SMEs, and corporates to opportunity owners who can collaborate to pilot innovation solutions to meet their unique needs and further their business goals.
Kamran Siddiqui, senior director of strategy at Ooredoo Qatar, said: "Were delighted to be working with the QRDI Council to drive innovation within Qatar by developing these two disruptive pilots: Smart Tools for Audio Analytics in IoT Network, and Smart Troubleshooting AR/VR software for Wi-Fi applications.
A key element of our corporate strategy is to seek, establish and develop partnerships such as this, through which we can expand and enhance our offering with the aim of complete customer satisfaction.
I look forward to kickstarting this hands-on partnership with the development of these two projects for the benefit of our customers."
Known as the first-of-its-kind programme in the country that aims to support innovation in Qatar and further expand the country's growing ecosystem, QOI was launched earlier this year with partners Hassad Foods and Qatar General Electricity and Water Corp (Kahramaa). The first set of innovation calls saw participation from local and international innovators who submitted 197 proposals that addressed opportunities in water, energy and agriculture.
Future sets of QOI calls will soon be released as QRDI Council continues to work closely with large local enterprises and government agencies across the five priority areas defined by QRDI 2030 to identify opportunities where innovation can drive collaboration across sectors and promote economic growth and productivity.