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20 April 2009 12:14 pm

QSTP keen on new ventures

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The Qatar Science & Technology Park does not necessarily need more tenants, but will focus on execution and outcomes and how to connect the existing tenants to the local economy, executive chairman Dr Tidu Maini said. “We are also encouraging the formation of new Qatari companies, especially in the wireless field, and their collaboration with each other,” he told Gulf Times in an interview. However, if any major company or corporation is keen to join and is aligned with the activities on agenda QSTP will be happy to have them, the official stated. Recalling that QSTP had only three or four tenants when he came onboard, Dr Maini observed that “we suddenly shot up to 21 (tenants) because we had a clear strategy.” The current members of QSTP are Chevron, Cisco, ConocoPhillips, EADS, ExxonMobil, Fuego, General Electric, Hydro, iHorizons, Institu de Soudure, MEEZA, Microsoft, Qatar Petroleum, Qatar Robotic Surgery Centre, Qatar University Wireless Center, Shell, SMARD, Tata, Total, Transport Research Laboratory, and Virgin Health Bank. “The objective is to motivate young Qataris to create new companies and this is exactly the experiment in which our research accelerator is engaged in,” the executive chairman said. What QSTP is doing on one stream is let corporations like Shell and ExxonMobil do their own research in designated areas, and at the same time starting Qatari companies, some of which will be on their own and some in partnership. “So one of the jobs I have in the next 12 months is to persuade our partners to help these small companies to work with them,” he maintained. Dr Maini’s vision is to have technologically-led companies, which are run by Qataris who give up comfortable jobs to embark on the new ventures. “In the beginning we have to help the people in a gentle way, as going bankrupt is culturally not acceptable in this part of the world. So we have to allow a cushion for a few years, and protect these companies to get them going,” he said. One of the areas which will have a short-term impact in the energy sector is QSTP’s wireless centre, with Qatar University, with tremendous potential looking at gas leakage and safety studies among others, Dr Maini added. http://gulf-times.com/site/topics/article.asp?cu_no=2&item_no=284486&version=1&template_id=36&parent_id=16