Ibtechar Roundtable Highlights Importance of Innovation Spaces in Enabling Knowledge-Based Economy

Jun 16, 2022 by BLJ Worldwide

Doha, Qatar - June 14, 2022 : Ibtechar, Qatar’s leading innovation solutions provider, recently hosted a roundtable session aimed at bringing together experts within the business and technology sectors, to discuss innovation spaces and how they contribute to the building of a knowledge-based economy, in line with Qatar National Vision (QNV) 2030.

Part of a series of roundtables, all organized by Ibtechar to encourage dialogue on technology, innovation, research and development in Qatar, this session looked into the future of innovation and the challenges of creating innovation spaces, as well as best practice advice for developing a culture of innovation, and ways in which innovation aids economic diversification, among other topics.

CEO and Co-founder of Ibtechar, Nayef Al-Ibrahim, moderated the session, which convened representatives from Alurays Middle East, Qatar’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).

The panelists underscored the significance of innovation spaces in facilitating research, boosting cross-team collaboration, and fueling creativity to drive innovation. While sharing personal experiences of setting up and managing innovation spaces, the panelists discussed solutions to overcome existing challenges in this area and agreed that the future of these spaces, in Qatar and globally, looks promising.

“Innovation spaces can play a pivotal role in facilitating research, supporting collaboration, and fueling creativity to transform novel ideas into tangible products and services. As Qatar endeavors to fulfill its aspirations, as detailed under the Qatar National Vision 2030, spaces like these become increasingly essential to advance innovation and enable the creation of a knowledge-based economy,” said Al-Ibrahim.

“For this roundtable session we brought in business and technology experts from various sectors to collectively review and address some of the underlying issues in setting up and operating innovation spaces, locally and globally, but more importantly to investigate the possibilities of nurturing their growth in Qatar,” he added.

Innovation spaces can help provide increased access to vital equipment for students looking to test their innovative ideas, noted Dr. Aiman Erbad, Associate Professor and Head of Information and Computing Technology at the College of Science and Engineering, HBKU, and one of the panelists of the roundtable.

“The equipment access policy is largely vague for students at most academic institutions. It is often managed internally within classes and is used for research purposes only. We need to provide access to equipment for whoever needs it from outside academia as well, in order for innovation to flourish,” he said.

Eman Al-Kuwari, Acting Head of Emerging Technology, Programmer, and Analyst at MCIT, shone a light on the benefits of innovation spaces in connecting entrepreneurs to the business community. “Qatar’s stimulating business ecosystem continues to drive entrepreneurs to bring innovative solutions to the market. We have to now look at enriching this ecosystem to further empower entrepreneurs and support them in their innovation journey.”

Another panelist, Hayfa Al-Abdulla, Innovation Director at QSTP, pointed out that while Qatar’s research and development scene is thriving, a stronger focus is needed to facilitate product development, which is a central component of innovation.

“Innovation spaces go a long way to addressing this need, by allowing innovators to put their ideas to the test in an environment that is fully equipped with what they need. As the private sector makes strides in this area, I am very optimistic with regards to how things will evolve in the near future. The more successful stories we have, the more people actually recognize the value of such environments,” she said.

The panelists affirmed the importance of innovation spaces in aiding the development of entrepreneurship and innovation capabilities, which are identified as important drivers of Qatar’s economic diversification efforts and its transformation into a regional hub for knowledge under QNV2030.

To find out more about Ibtechar, please visit: ibtechar.com/