The second edition of the information and communication technology conference and exhibition in Qatar, Qitcom 2012, was officially opened yesterday, with companies from all over the world joining local officials to launch the three-day event.
Organisers expressed their pleasure at seeing such a large number of visitors attend the opening day of the conference and exhibition, which is being hosted at the Qatar National Convention Centre and will close tomorrow.
The conference was opened by the director of ictQATAR, Hessa al-Jaber, as well as chairman and CEO of MEEZA, Rashid al-Naimi and other officials. This was followed by an official inauguration of the exhibition by the Minister of Business and Trade, HE Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz bin Jassim bin Hamad al-Thani, who was joined by a number of other dignitaries and officials for a tour of the event.
The conference yesterday featured panel discussions on a range of subjects, covering the development of entrepreneurship in the Arab world, next generation broadband services, Internet TV and various other issues in the field of technology.
Tomorrow, renowned scientist, author and television presenter Michiu Kaku will make the keynote address for the conference, when he discusses the future of science and technology.
During her opening speech, Hessa al-Jaber highlighted the consistent growth and investment in development taking place in Qatar, noting that the nation’s rich natural resources had enabled resources to be poured into science and technology development.
“Qatar’s natural resources have been instrumental in laying a foundation for this economic and social development within the state, and offering a platform for growth in other industrial sectors,” she said.
The ictQATAR director said that continued development depends on diversification of different industries, innovation and creativity, and collaboration between private and public institutions working towards a common goal.
She said that the ICT market in Qatar grew by 21% between 2010 and 2011 to QR15.4bn, and was expected to increase to QR24.7bn in 2016.
She spoke about how the government is assisting ICT development in Qatar, noting that this is integral to the diversification of the local economy in the future.
As well as encouraging innovation through a number of initiatives, al-Jaber highlighted the need for collaboration to ensure that projects come to fruition.
“I firmly believe that stimulation of innovation, identification of ICT development opportunities and successful commercialisation cannot be done in isolated pockets,” she said, adding “ictQATAR will work together and collaborate with all the players in the ICT ecosystem to identify innovation and development opportunities so that we collectively maintain focus on successful economic Diversification.”
The chairman of the Qitcom organising committee and market development manager for ictQATAR, Ali al-Khulaifi, said: “We are delighted at the attendance of the first day which has far outnumbered the previous year. Receiving this level of official support and recognition is something we are very proud of and it is yet another demonstration of Qitcom’s growing size and stature as a leading platform for local and regional professionals to engage with international leaders within the ICT sector.”
“We now look forward to another two days of networking, best practice sharing and knowledge transfer and encourage all those who want to see into the future of the ICT industry to attend,” he added.
The exhibition features companies from all over the world, showcasing their latest technology, highlighting the breakthroughs which have been made recently and those which are expected to make an impact in the near future.
This year has also seen the launch of ‘Tech Zone,’ a platform from which participants can discuss their technology, share information and educate attendants about their products and services.
Another popular area of the exhibition is the ‘Innovation Theatre’ which will host a number of pitches from young entrepreneurs, hoping to impress a panel of experts and win the opportunity to receive financial assistance as well as chances for incubation services. The exhibition is open from 9am to 9pm today and tomorrow.
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