To support Qatar’s digital ecosystem and accelerate the implementation of smart solutions and applications, the Smart Qatar Programme (Tasmu) of the Ministry of Transport and Communications (MoTC) oversees the Tasmu Digital Valley (TDV), which acts as the acknowledged ecosystem orchestrator driving the priority sectors’ growth through various strategic initiatives and powering the supply of Tasmu smart solutions and applications.
In 2020, TDV’s partnerships with Qatar Free Zones Authority, Qatar Financial Centre, Digital Incubation Centre and Tasmu Innovation Lab were activated for the delivery of services across areas such as market access, matchmaking, incubation, entrepreneurship and networking. In collaboration with these partners, TDV supports the innovation journey of its members, which consist of local and international startups, SMEs and multinational companies in the technology sector, the MoTC said in a statement.
Tasked to raise Qatar’s profile as a competitive innovation hub, in collaboration with key partners, TDV conducted foreign direct investment outreach webinars in 2020, reaching out to more than 600 attendees across Turkey, Japan, Taiwan, Singapore, Russia, the UK and US. The local collaborations and international outreach activities resulted in welcoming 80 new members to the TDV ecosystem.
Complementing Qatar’s vibrant ICT ecosystem, Tasmu Innovation Lab was inaugurated in February 2020 to help create an enabling environment that supports innovators and entrepreneurs with inventing products and services that address national priorities. The Lab brings a lean model and practical approach to help priority sectors innovate around their key challenges, from ideation to the development of minimum viable products, to venture-making, and the creation of prototypes that proactively build towards eventual deployments and concept commercialisation.
At the Tasmu Innovation Lab, researchers and entrepreneurs can take their ideas from applied research to early commercialisation and get the opportunity to deploy their projects at multiple Pilot Zones that include: Lusail Smart City, Msheireb Downtown Doha, Aspire Zone, Qatar Foundation and UDC’s The Pearl-Qatar.
These pilot zones offer a unique ecosystem for smart technology innovation and provides Qatar with the ability to develop and formulate operational requirements, test legislative and legal boundaries, and evaluate business models in live environments. The Tasmu Innovation Lab successfully conducted innovation workshops and provided mentorship and advisory support throughout 2020. Currently, the Lab has more than 30 innovative solutions in the pipeline that leverage cloud computing, mobile robotics and drone technology. Five of these solutions are near final stages and the rest under stakeholder evaluation.
Recognising the fact that behind the machines, algorithms, and technologies there is human creativity and ingenuity, Tasmu is also working on equipping the people of Qatar with advanced digital skills. Throughout the year, Tasmu worked with local and international experts, reviewed global best practices and identified digital development priorities that Qatar's workforce needs to adopt over the next 10 years. This was followed with a detailed strategy consisting of 14 impactful projects to develop the digital skills for Qatar's workforce and youth.
Consolidating this comprehensive study into a 10-year Digital Skills Roadmap, Tasmu is working to launch programmes focused on establishing Digital Skills for the Youth, Digital Skills for the Workforce, as well as Digital Skills Awareness Campaigns in 2021. In the coming five years, Tasmu will also enact policies that ensure all digital services are intuitive and easily accessible by different population segments and organise nationwide events annually to promote digital inclusion in Qatar.
This will be supported by e-learning modules that teach different population segments the basic digital skills required to increase their usage of useful digital smart solutions and applications available to them. To that effect, Tasmu developed a refreshed National Digital Inclusion Strategy, which aims to enhance digital access, increase digital skills level within the community, increase the community’s motivation to use digital services and increase the level of trust in online transactions across the population.
The strategy is in line with the most impactful global best practices and informed by a comprehensive local research study. In addition to being enabled by policies and frameworks, Tasmu is reaching out to organisations with complementary capabilities to successfully drive the implementation of the Digital Inclusion strategy.
Tasmu is committed to building a smart, sustainable, and vibrant society through the use of advanced technology and innovation. It is working with government entities, entrepreneurs, multinational companies, research and academic institutes to create tangible smart solutions and applications that are relevant to Qatar's challenges, target priority sectors, and will improve the quality of life for Qatar’s citizens, residents and visitors.
Through the Tasmu Programme, Qatar has made large investments in the tech industry and identified more than 60 investment opportunities, available in the next four years, across various sectors. Investors, entrepreneurs, and technology companies are encouraged to be a part of the Smart Qatar journey. For more information about upcoming opportunities, one can visit https://www.motc.gov.qa/en/about-us/tenders