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Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council Elevates Qatar's Open Innovation Status at SWITCH 2023

02 November 2023 | Company results

Announces Qatar – Singapore Joint Innovation Challenges and Paving the Way for Global Collaboration

Photo Credit: Freepik

Photo Credit: Freepik

The Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council, and Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), announced the Qatar – Singapore Joint Innovation Challenge (QSJIC) as part of its participation at the Singapore Week of Innovation and Technology (SWITCH), held in Singapore from October 31 to November 2, 2023. This collaboration signifies a historic moment in the global advancement of innovation and technology. The event was attended by HE Ambassador of the State of Qatar to Singapore Saoud bin Jassim Al Jufairi.

Three challenge statement owners, namely the Qatar Company for Airport Operation and Management (MATAR), Qatar Insurance Co. (QIC) Digital Venture Partners, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MoECC) have put up seven problem statements, seeking new ideas and solutions from Singapore-based companies in areas such as energy, sustainability, and insurtech.

Winners of the QSJIC get to embark on pilot projects with the three challenge statement owners and will receive solution development support of up to SGD150,000 each

The SWITCH flagship conference, organised by EnterpriseSG, is the leading startup festival in Asia that serves as a nexus for deep tech, and champions the growth of Singapore’s startup and innovation ecosystem by catalysing conversations and collaboration among eminent members of the global business and tech community.

The QRDI Council was established in 2018 to drive research, development, and innovation (RDI) efforts on a national level in line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the Second National Development Strategy (2018-2022). QRDI Council has developed its ten-year strategy, QRDI 2030, which seeks to create a locally empowered, globally connected RDI ecosystem, mobilizing leadership across government, academia, and industry to transform Qatar’s social and economic future. QRDI Council members include prominent national and international figures from various government and academic entities and industry experts.

Nada Al-Olaqi, RDI Program Director of the QRDI Council said, “Our participation in SWITCH is a remarkable milestone in the QRDI Council's journey. We are excited to join hands with Enterprise Singapore in launching the Qatar-Singapore Joint Innovation Challenge, to provide valuable opportunities for Singapore companies to offer their innovations to Qatari entities. This initiative is a testament to our commitment to driving innovation and growth for Qatar while strengthening our global partnerships.”

In collaboration with EnterpriseSG and SWITCH, the QRDI Council participated in a market access panel as well as a networking session with businesses, providing a platform for innovative ideas to burgeon into implementable solutions.

The initiative commenced with a riveting Panel Discussion centered around the Qatar-Singapore Joint Innovation Challenge (QSJIC). Dr. Francis Yeoh, Senior Advisor to QRDI Council, adeptly moderated the session, engaging with panelists who are challenge owners of QSJIC - MATAR, and MoECC.

Their insightful discourse set an enlightening prelude to the subsequent Networking Session, aptly titled ‘Bridging Innovations: Qatar - Singapore Joint Innovation Challenges’, where potential Singapore solution providers scored the opportunity to engage the Qatari entities directly to understand their innovation needs.

These innovation needs beckoned Singapore’s vibrant startup community and innovative minds to propose viable solutions, nurturing a collaborative ethos between Qatar and Singapore while accentuating the boundless prospects of open innovation.

Jayakrishnan, Executive Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa at EnterpriseSG, shared, “The joint innovation call will further deepen innovation collaboration between Qatar and Singapore. Singapore companies have relevant expertise in areas of energy, environmental sustainability, and insurtech, and we are confident that they can be effective partners to the participating Qatar entities in developing solutions and products which contribute to Qatar’s sustainable development goals.” 

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