The Minister of Transport and Communications, H E Jassim bin Saif bin Ahmed Al Sulaiti, inaugurated “TASMU Innovation Lab”, yesterday. Set out to raise the profile of Qatar as a technology innovation hub, the TASMU Innovation Lab will create an open and inclusive environment that enables access, exploration and ideation to develop tangible outcomes in focused areas on emerging technologies.
Located at the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC), the pioneering initiative supports the “TASMU” Smart Qatar Program.
The Innovation Lab leverages Qatar’s growing research and development ecosystem and acts as an orchestrator between government entities, researchers and technology partners to develop and implement smart solutions across TASMU’s five priority sectors.
Speaking at the opening, H E the Minister said: “Qatar is leading the process of digital transformation and achieving sustainable development in all sectors and in all pillars; economic, human, social and environmental. There is no doubt that catalysing the information and communication technology (ICT) ecosystem in Qatar and achieving the maximum benefit from the potential provided by advanced technology are the key pillars of this sustainable development.”
His Excellency added: “We are continuing our efforts to transform Qatar into a Smart country through the principal initiatives of TASMU such as the Innovation Lab, in which we are supported by a collaborative and thriving ICT ecosystem. We are constantly working to attract the world’s leading technology companies, develop local champions and support startups, as well as advancing our technological capabilities that will enable us to innovate and develop more smart solutions. We are fully aware of the technological development trends and today we hold a very good position that will enable us to boost the path of digital transformation and support our national economy.”
Reem Al Mansoori, Assistant Undersecretary of Digital Society Development of Ministry of Transport and Communications said: “The Innovation Lab is one of the key initiatives of the “TASMU” Smart Qatar Program and one of the essential tools for the success of the program. As a platform to embrace creative research in the field of modern technologies, the Lab will be a significant driving force for more technological innovations that will lead Qatar towards a prosperous future by accelerating the pace of developing ideas and turning them into a tangible reality while providing the necessary advanced knowledge to catalyse the entire process of innovation.”
After the opening ceremony, Al Mansoori, signed eight Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Qatar University, Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Aspire Zone, Texas A&M University at Qatar, IBM, aSay Group, UDC and Qatar Foundation.
“Our primary mission is to enhance the position of Qatar as a center for technological innovation, and we are sure that achieving it will benefit all citizens, residents and visitors to the country,” Al Mansoori added. “Thanks to their passion for collaborative innovation, our co-founders have started this path with us to combine their skills, capabilities and speed of implementation in creating innovative solutions that meet different future needs. Let me take this opportunity to thank them for investing in our common vision and support in turning our aspirations into reality,” she said.
TASMU seeks to benefit from advanced technology and innovation in order to promote diversification of the economy and sustainable growth while improving the quality of life for citizens, residents and visitors in Qatar, by placing all smart technology services within their reach.
The Program oversees the development and implementation of more than 100 projects that rely on smart and advanced technologies across five priority sectors including transport, logistics, environment, healthcare and sports.
The TASMU Program recently signed 18 MoUs with investors, researchers and technology partners to collaborate in the Innovation Lab during the QITCOM 2019.
The Innovation Lab provides innovation-as-a-service, as it sponsors the innovation process from the concept development stage through to the final results.
The Lab also works to attract research and academic institutions and harnesses private sector capabilities to develop thinking skills and methods and increase knowledge in advanced concepts, product and project development and building prototypes that enhance the final implementation of technological solutions.
The Lab will also provide an opportunity for the stakeholders to see the results of their projects come to life through experiments which will be held in multiple pilot zones in Qatar, including Msheireb Downtown Doha, Lusail Smart City, Aspire Zone, Qatar Foundation and UDC.
The Pilot Zones will be vital for testing and improving innovation projects in real life scenarios.
These zones will provide a safe environment for projects such as self-driving cars and drones, to be effectively tested before commercialization and viability where parallel legal and regulatory frameworks are developed in cooperation with the relevant authorities.
TASMU’s Innovation Lab brings current challenges identified by the government into an innovation ecosystem by working with experts, researchers and technology partners to innovate and transform ideas into tangible outcomes.
The Innovation Lab’s Strategic partners Huawei, Vodafone, Microsoft, Cisco and GBM have been instrumental in getting the Innovation Lab up and running. The Innovation Lab’s current research partners include Qatar University, Texas A&M University, Qatar Mobility Innovations Center, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), and Qatar Computer Research Institute (QCRI), which operates under the umbrella of HBKU and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
In addition, research specialist partners include Vito, Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medicine, IMEC and Iberdrola. Furthermore, technology partners of the Lab include IBM, Ericsson, Siemens, TESS Solutions, Oracle, SAPCOIL, Thales, and Mada as the e-accessibility partner.