Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, and Mr Rick Weddle, President of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation World Conference (IASP 2014 Doha), officially inaugurated the annual event in Doha today (Monday).
IASP 2014 Doha is the 31st Annual World Conference of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation, supported locally by Silver Sponsor Qatar Petroleum.
Hundreds of government and private sector officials from 54 countries are in Qatar’s capital city this week for the four-day summit.
In 2012, Qatar Foundation Research & Development’sQatar Science & Technology Park won a competitive bid to host the conference, marking the first time it will take place in the Arab world.
QSTP was selected because of its vision to create a vibrant culture of innovation and entrepreneurship – part of a wider and profound transformation of Qatar’s national economy. The event supports the mission of Qatar Foundation to build and develop capacity for creativity and critical thinking through research in education and science.
Conference keynote speaker Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube – the world’s largest and most popular video sharing site and the third most visited site globally – had inspiring words for delegates at the opening of the annual event.
Hamad Al-Kuwari, Head of the IASP 2014 Doha Organising Committee and QSTP Managing Director, said: “Chad is one of the most visionary and influential technology entrepreneurs in the last 20 years.”
“From Silicon Valley to QSTP, Chad’s work at YouTube and a host of other successful ventures is the very essence of legend within business, technology, and innovation. As we continue to cultivate and commercialise the next big ideas at QSTP, I am hopeful that entrepreneurs in Qatar and IASP 2014 Doha delegates found inspiration and insight in his words.”
In his address to dignitaries, global technology experts, entrepreneurs and students, Hurley spoke of how the social media channel had become a technological game changer. More than 500 delegates from around the world are attending the conference at the Qatar National Convention Centre.
IASP 2014 Doha aims to explore challenges and opportunities of innovation management, with Chief Executive Officers, Chief Financial Officers and other officials setting the agenda for science and technology hubs around the globe.
During his speech, Hurley discussed the rise of YouTube and managing its meteoric growth. For entrepreneurs in Qatar and delegates of the summit, he shared the lessons learned from his unique experience creating a ‘game-changer’ in technology. He also gave deep insight into how content is consumed and shared in the modern era.
Hurley said: “The YouTube experience taught me that a small group of individuals with the same vision can make a difference and I believe this is very similar to any science and technology park aiming to achieve its goals. My advice to all entrepreneurs and innovators in Qatar is to surround themselves with great individuals who are ready to create solutions for the greater good.”
He shed light on the ever-evolving landscape of emerging technology, emphasising the critical role that hubs like QSTP and others play in providing the right support and resources for entrepreneurs.
In October of 2007, Chad and his partner sold YouTube to Google, Inc. for USD1.6 Billion and still serves as the company’s advisor. Soon after selling YouTube, Chad co-founded AVOS Systems, which is committed to creating platforms and building products that enable individuals to utilise their time more efficiently in their everyday life.
Recently, AVOS has secured financing from New Enterprise Associates and Google Ventures, with participation from Madrone Capital and China-based incubator Innovation Works.
Attending delegates from the Arab world include Kuwait Industrial Technology Park, Knowledge Oasis Muscat, Riyadh Techno Valley and the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia Regional Technology Centre in Jordan.
IASP 2014 Doha runs until 22 October. In Qatar, the event is backed by businesses such as Qatar Airways, which serves as the Official Carrier.
IASP 2014 Doha has garnered interest and support from the international innovation community, with The kolkovo Innovation Centre – a high technology business park near Moscow, Russia - signing on as IASP 2014 Doha’s Gold Sponsor.
A full list of conference speakers can be found at www.iasp2014doha.com/speakers-list. Follow @QSTP on Twitter for live updates from the event.
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