The objective of the Technology Development Fund (TDF) is to provide gap funding for early-stage, promising technologies in order that they may be further developed to increase their commercialization potential. Often times, researchers lack the funding necessary to take an early-stage technology from something theoretical or simulated to something that is prototyped. These funds are aimed at taking technologies from Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 2-3 to TRL 6-8. By doing this, technical risk is minimized and the potential for commercialization is increased. Market validation is a critical component in this process as well. In summary, the objectives for TDF are as follows:
- Make promising technologies less risky and more attractive to potential licensees
- Through commercial collaborations, increase licensing and the new application of intellectual property (IP) created here in Qatar
- Deploy such technologies (prototype, pilot, demo) leading to further collaboration, development, and commercialization
- To build a robust, valuable IP portfolio in Qatar’s priority research areas
- To build knowledge, create jobs, and address Qatar’s needs
Currently the TDF is by invitation only, so it is not open to everyone. Invitees must have Intellectual Property that is currently managed by Qatar Foundation’s office of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT). Invitees are selected by Qatar Foundation Research & Development staff and technologies are chosen based on current TRL level, market conditions, time and path to market, strategic relevance, and commercial potential.
The TDF Development Plan document is available in the download center. It is a short application which seeks more information on 6 main aspects of your technology:
- Development Objectives
- Intellectual Property
- Project Milestones
- Project Risk Assessment
- Cost-Benefit Analysis
The questions are intended to encourage the applicant to think holistically about the technology as there are technical, IP, and market aspects that must be carefully considered in the successful commercialization of any new technology.
The TDF program yields many benefits. Qatar Foundation benefits by demonstrating impact in critical Grand Challenge areas; inventors benefit by having the resources required to further development of their technologies; potential licensees and strategic partners benefit by working with technologies that are more developed and less risky; and Qatar benefits from the economic diversification brought about by the successful commercialization of these technologies.