Qatar Innovation Promotion Award (QIPA) Program is Archived!
The vision of Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) is to play a catalytic role in transforming Qatar into a knowledge-based economy by enabling research and development excellence in Qatar. QNRF invests in original competitively selected research and development at all levels and across all disciplines with emphasis on the four pillars of the Qatar National Research Strategy:
Building on QNRF’s successful investment in developing the research and innovation culture in Qatar, it is now launching the Qatar Innovation Promotion Award (QIPA) as a pilot program, along with its partners, for supporting innovative ideas with high potential impact/benefits for the economy and society of Qatar.
Successful ideas will be expected to adhere to the following QNRF-adopted definition for innovation: “The process of applying new knowledge/ideas, or existing knowledge/ideas in a new context, which creates either new wealth or social welfare through development of successful and competitive products, services and processes.”
QIPA investments will aim to foster the process of diversification of Qatar’s economy as part of the journey towards a knowledge-based economy as planned under QNV 2030. QIPA will complement other initiatives in Qatar which are helping to resource innovative ventures by providing pre-incubation support to ideas to help reach the stage where they can demonstrate potential benefits, leading to their adoption by business incubators or early stage investors. The program will invest up to a maximum of USD 100,000 in original, competitively-selected ideas from individuals in all relevant sectors of Qatar’s economy and society to enable an early demonstration of the potential impact of their innovations in the form of a demo/prototype within a period of up to 12 months. It would do so by financially supporting the development of prototypes and experiments to prove the feasibility of implementation.
QNRF, with its impressive record of creating successful initiatives for competitively selecting and funding R&D projects in large numbers, will launch QIPA to fund innovations at scale in Qatar to build a pipeline for potential investment by business incubators such as QSTP and other investors.
The QIPA program is intended to promote the activities of innovators and entrepreneurs in Qatar. The innovators’ right to maintain control/ownership of their ideas and the IP created by them will be recognized by QNRF. Agreements with the funded teams will be signed by a Partner of QNRF stating that when a company is set-up by one or more members of team to take the IP created through QIPA funding towards commercialization, then QNRF’s partner in QIPA or QNRF appointed entity reserves a right to take a minority stake (equity) and/or revenue or profit sharing position in the company for the critical funding provided to the team at this early stage. Determination of this exact fraction of equity or revenue to be received by QNRF’s partner or QNRF appointed entity would be made according to methods of valuation in accordance to Qatar’s laws. To ensure that the innovators don’t get discouraged, upper limits on the equity owned by QIPA program and/or revenue share have been set as the 20% of the enterprise value and/or 10% of revenue from the product developed through QNRF support.
Additionally, for all IP created by the teams during the program, Qatar Foundation (QF) will hold non-exclusive licenses for usage of such IP to do/support further R&D for creating any foreground IP in the future, if and only if IP created through QIPA support is abandoned (i.e. not used for 2 consecutive years to create products/services or foreground IP) or the company or organization created for launching the product or service based on the IP, or project/ product line/service based on that IP, is closed or gets purchased.
In case, some background IP is being used to develop the new foreground IP through the support provided by QIPA program, following scenarios will be considered:
QNRF expects a QIPA applicant to apply at a stage when the following have been achieved or are ready:
Those who submit an application prematurely may lower their chances of receiving funds in subsequent cycles, if the program is continued based on the response and experience in this pilot cycle.
Awardees who come out with a well-tested prototype during their tenure in the QIPA program, can later apply for further funding support to QSTP or other business incubators of their choice.
Applications for the Qatar Innovation Promotion Award will be accepted and reviewed as per the following timetable. All times are Doha time:-
An idea is ready when an applicant can fulfill these two conditions:
* Show an ad-hoc demo or feasible design plan or a representative analytical model of the proposed prototype/ demo
* Describe what tests will be conducted to establish the validity of proposed idea in a controlled environment (e.g. laboratory) and in the operational environment conditions in which the proposed solution will operate or get implemented.
If the background IP is owned by Qatar Foundation then it would be made available:-
IPTT will decide the IP policy and conduct assessments of IP created to determine QNRF and QF’s position on a case-by-case basis.
Ideas will be evaluated on the following criteria:
a) Innovation potential
b) Technical/scientific feasibility
c) Individual’s/team’s technical and execution capabilities
d) Potential economic and/or social impact for Qatar
e) Cost effectiveness and planning
f) Overall impact of proposal and presentation Risk analysis
QIPA team will do the screening and shortlisting, while expert reviewers will score the applications on the evaluation criteria mentioned above. Final award decisions will be made by a relevant committee.
Individuals have to apply online for QIPA at https://oss.qnrfsubmission.org/ by first registering (if they aren’t already registered) and then selecting ‘Start Proposal’ in the ‘Proposals’ tab. First step would be to register the proposal and then go to ‘Prepare Proposal’ under the ‘Proposals’ tab in the dashboard view available after logging in to the Online Submission System (OSS).