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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:

  • Energy and Environment
  • Computer Sciences and ICT
  • Health and life Sciences
  • Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities in all fields of sciences.

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.

Timeline

Applications for the Qatar Innovation Promotion Award will be accepted and reviewed as per the following timetable. All times are Doha time:-

Description Dates
Proposal Submission Starts  To be advised     
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Which projects will QNRF fund

QNRF expects a QIPA applicant to apply at a stage when the following have been achieved or are ready:

  1. Studies to validate the working of separate elements of the proposed demo/prototype have been done by the applicant or by others, or those are publicly established/known facts.
  2. Basic technological components are integrated to establish that they will work together
  3. Ad-hoc demo or crude prototype or a representative analytical model of the prototype/ demo has been developed by the applicant
  4. Applicant describes what tests will be conducted to establish the validity of proposed idea in a controlled environment (e.g. laboratory) and in an operational environment (i.e. the range of environmental conditions in which the proposed solution will operate or get implemented).

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. 

IP Policy

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[1]  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:

  1. Background IP[2] used belongs to QF: Teams would be provided a non-exclusive license for the use of QF IP as intended in their Application. The entrepreneurs would own the rights to any new inventions (foreground IP) made by using the QF IP.  Such license of QF IP could be provided for a mutually agreeable fee, equity, revenue sharing mechanisms, etc. In exceptional cases, based on strategic considerations and interest of Qatar, QF could even decide provide such a license for free to the applicant teams.
  2. Background IP owned (fully or partially) by the entrepreneurs or individuals/organizations from outside QF system or Qatar:
    Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT) office of QF R&D to make an assessment of the potential conflicts in the ownership of foreground IP created through use of QIPA funds by the applicant and present its recommendations to
    1. manage such conflicts for securing QF’s right to use and do further R&D, or;
    2. not to fund such an Application or;
    3. fund the Application and not take any IP rights because having such a company in Qatar serves the greater national interest (i.e. economic, social or strategic)

[1] Foreground IP: Any new Intellectual Property (IP) developed by awardee during the award period within the scope of awarded project
[2] Background IP: Intellectual Property in existence prior to the start of project 
Q & A

How will discussions regarding IP be managed?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

How will discussions regarding IP be managed?

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.

ID: 337 / Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property / Modify date: / 2801

I have a service idea; can such ideas be used in application to QIPA?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

I have a service idea; can such ideas be used in application to QIPA?

Yes, if you are developing some technology to provide that service in an innovative manner.

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I have an idea, but I don’t know how to build a prototype/demo. Would QIPA support me for outsourcing the development?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

I have an idea, but I don’t know how to build a prototype/demo. Would QIPA support me for outsourcing the development?

If approved by the review panel, parts of the development process could be outsourced to consultants or companies, as long as that work doesn’t qualify for IP creation.

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When is an idea ready for QIPA?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

When is an idea ready for QIPA?

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.


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I already have a prototype and/or have tested it too. Will my idea be accepted in QIPA?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

I already have a prototype and/or have tested it too. Will my idea be accepted in QIPA?

Innovators, whose ideas are determined as mature enough to be taken up by seed-stage investors or business incubators, will be advised to approach suitable investors/ business incubators and therefore will not be accepted in QIPA.

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As per the state –of-the-art of technology in my idea’s domain, all the components of my proposed idea are not established to work well separately, or can’t be combined right now, but I still want to

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

As per the state –of-the-art of technology in my idea’s domain, all the components of my proposed idea are not established to work well separately, or can’t be combined right now, but I still want to

QIPA is focused on developing prototypes/demos that are feasible to be built and tested within a maximum of 12 months with the current technology in all the fields. Ideas will be scored with these considerations, so ideas requiring more basic research work for the part or whole of proposed designs would not score well and hence won’t be accepted in the QIPA program.

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As per the state –of-the-art of technology in my idea’s domain, all the components of my proposed idea are not established to work well separately, or can’t be combined right now, but I still want to

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Type of ideas Modify date:

As per the state –of-the-art of technology in my idea’s domain, all the components of my proposed idea are not established to work well separately, or can’t be combined right now, but I still want to

QIPA is focused on developing prototypes/demos that are feasible to be built and tested within a maximum of 12 months with the current technology in all the fields. Ideas will be scored with these considerations, so ideas requiring more basic research work for the part or whole of proposed designs would not score well and hence won’t be accepted in the QIPA program.

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Who will own the intellectual property (IP) generated?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

Who will own the intellectual property (IP) generated?

QIPA recognizes the innovators’ right to maintain ownership of their ideas and the IP created by them.

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What happens when the inventor already owns or has licensed the background IP?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

What happens when the inventor already owns or has licensed the background IP?

Background IP will belong to its owners only.

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What happens when the background IP belongs to Qatar Foundation and the inventor wants to further develop it to launch an innovative product or service?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

What happens when the background IP belongs to Qatar Foundation and the inventor wants to further develop it to launch an innovative product or service?

If the background IP is owned by Qatar Foundation then it would be made available:-

* Freely for development during the QIPA program;

* At mutually agreeable terms during the commercialization stage.


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Will QNRF take any share in the proceeds generated from IP created during QIPA?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

Will QNRF take any share in the proceeds generated from IP created during QIPA?

QNRF through its sister organization, the Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT) Office of QF R&D, will take a minority share of the proceeds resulting from any IP developed through QIPA’s support

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Who will file the patents and bear the patenting cost for IP created through a QIPA supported project?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

Who will file the patents and bear the patenting cost for IP created through a QIPA supported project?

Innovators / teams are the owners of the IP and hence they are expected to bear the costs of doing their own filing. If an innovator or team wishes to opt for IPTT’s services then they can do so by working on mutually agreeable terms with IPTT.

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Can QF or IPTT bear the patenting costs on the innovators behalf?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Intellectual Property Modify date:

Can QF or IPTT bear the patenting costs on the innovators behalf?

Should IPTT determine the IP generated as worthy of further investment from QF, then they might agree on making an investment in the costs of patenting using financial instruments like debt, equity and/or quasi-equity, or through royalty sharing agreements or a combination of these. This

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How will an idea be evaluated?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Evaluation Process Modify date:

How will an idea be evaluated?

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

 

 

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Who will be evaluating the applications submitted?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Evaluation Process Modify date:

Who will be evaluating the applications submitted?

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.


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Will applicants receive some feedback on their applications?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Evaluation Process Modify date:

Will applicants receive some feedback on their applications?

Access to online reviews won’t be provided to anyone. Only successful applicants will receive the summary of official feedback from the QIPA team. If some applicants are called for a presentation, then they will receive verbal feedback from the review panel during their presentation.

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When will the results be announced?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Evaluation Process Modify date:

When will the results be announced?

Results for QIPA will be announced in January 2015 for this pilot cycle i.e. Cycle 1.

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Is there a minimum requirement for number of milestones in the application?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Application process Modify date:

Is there a minimum requirement for number of milestones in the application?

Yes, applicants must enter at least one milestone for each quarter (three month period). Applicants should put enough detailed milestones to convey their development and testing plan well to the reviewers. Lack of enough details will convey poor planning. A well planned proposal is expected to give evaluators much more confidence in the claims made by applicants in their proposed plans.

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How can someone apply to QIPA?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Application process Modify date:

How can someone apply to QIPA?

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).


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Will there be any budget reductions?

Question Categories: QIPA Q & A, Budget Modify date:

Will there be any budget reductions?

Yes, if the budget proposed by a selected awardee is determined as unrealistic, then the budget will be reduced.

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