Smart Data Forum Roadshow to Qatar

News

Smart Data Forum Roadshow to Qatar

Smart Data Forum with the support of the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) organized a roadshow to the emirate of Qatar from 25 February until 1 Mach. The goal of this trip was to identify potential cooperation between current research and innovation programs in both countries with a particular focus on smart mobility and smart energy.

The delegation consisted of participants of the BMWi’s technology programs Smart Data, ICT for Electromobility, and SINTEG; representatives of the BMBF’s programs Berlin Big Data Center and Mobility2Grid; and three successful and award-winning start-ups in smart energy.

With one of the highest GDP per capita in the world, Qatar faces enormous challenges to implement necessary economic structural change. Last year, Prime Minster Sheik Abdullah Bin Nasser Al-Thani announced the Smart Qatar program, which will support Qatar in the transition from oil and gas economy to a knowledge and technology-driven economy. Qatar strives to be an international leader in the development of digital innovation in health, environment, governance, and mobility and aims to evolve international partnerships.

Large German companies like Siemens, SAP, Linde, and Deutsche Bahn have been highly involved in Qatar for many years. Deutsche Bahn is, for example, a central partner of Qatar Railways Company and has been commissioned with assembling a 300km metro network in the capital Doha, as well as a modern rail network throughout Qatar. Siemens is a central partner for Qatar General Water & Electricity Corporation and is involved in the expansion of Qatar’s public distribution network of electricity and Qatar’s Green Car initiative.

The goal of future joint initiatives lies in instituting proper instruments to facilitate cooperation between SMEs and start-ups of both countries. With enterprises such as the MoTC Digital Incubation Center and Qatar Science and Technology Park incubator, Qatar is clearly driven to develop its start-up landscape domestically and globally.

During the roadshow, the German delegation gained insights into Smart Qatar’s goals and processes. By visiting key research centers and institutions like Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), the Qatar Environments and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), the Qatar Mobility Innovation Center (QMIC), and the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP), delegation members were able to witness the vision of the ongoing projects, present their own projects and innovations, and discuss concrete potential for cooperation.

During the visit at QCRI, Prof. Volker Markl, Director of Berlin Big Data Center (BBDC) and Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Director of Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), agreeing on deeper collaboration in data science training and research.

Qatar General Water & Electricity Corporation (KAHRAMAA) is ambitiously pursuing plans for electric mobility starting with the Green Car Initiative. In the face of climatic conditions and its challenges and opportunities, German companies possess the fitting technological know-how to step in. A visit to the newly-opened Kahramaa Awareness Park shows Qatar’s earnest plans in energy, mobility, and environment, as the park instils in public an urgency for environmental protection as well as methods of energy-efficiency.

First thoughts for long-term collaboration programs were discussed with the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) as well as Qatar Foundation (QF), which included cooperation on the levels of research and development, innovation and entrepreneurship, as well as market-entry and market-access.

Over the coming months, the proposed initiatives and points of contact will be intensified.

© Ministry of Transport and Communications Qatar

Dr. Andreas Goerdeler (BMWi) introduced the ministry’s technology program at a workshop with representatives of the Qatar Ministry of Communication and Transport and guarantors of the program Smart Qatar.

© Smart Data Forum

Delegation members visiting the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP)

© Smart Data Forum

Prof. Volker Markl, Director of Berlin Big Data Center (BBDC) und Dr. Ahmed Elmagarmid, Director of the Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) signing the MoU

© Smart Data Forum

Delegation members visiting the Qatar Enviroments and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)