Qatar Science and Technology Park
Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) was founded in 2004 to support diversification of Qatar’s economy by developing a knowledge based economy. QSTP aims to reduce dependence on hydrocarbon industries, invest in higher education and research, foster the private sector, and most notably, to generate and sustain new technology-based businesses. QSTP’s mission and goal is to provide quality education (pre-university and in university) to Qataris. QTSP has made this a reality and now comprises a cluster of eight leading international and homegrown universities, primary and secondary schools, research centers and policy institutes, various scholastic and community-focused entities, and much more. This unique ecosystem is designed to leverage synergies across disciplines and sectors to bring new technologies matured in Qatar, into the global marketplace.
QSTP functions by providing office and lab space to tenant companies, in a complex of multi-user and single-user buildings, and by providing professional services and support programs to those companies, such as the flagship QSTP XLR8, a tech business accelerator program. In September 2005 the Government of Qatar passed a law making the science park a “free zone”, allowing foreign companies to set up a 100 percent owned entity free from tax and duties.
QSTP is co-located in Qatar Foundation’s Education City alongside international universities. These include satellite college campuses in Qatar for Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Georgetown, Northwestern, Texas A&M, and Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). The science park’s location helps its tenant companies collaborate with these universities and acts as an incubator for spin-out ventures from the universities. After nearly a decade in operation, QTSP has had over 1000+ participants in its innovation programs since 2008, incubated 22 Qatari tech start ups, invested 4.3 billion Qatari riyals in the companies registered under its name, employed over 5000 people, and is now the base for over 50 companies. As a growing entity, QTSP is focused on its mission of educating and building bridges between Qatar and other countries.
QSTP is also a member of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, an NGO in special consultative status with the UN, and in 2014 was the first Arab country to host the association’s 31st World Conference.