Launched in March 2009, the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) is a home to technology-based companies from around the world and is also an incubator for start-up enterprise. It is an integral part of Qatar Foundation and its location and status as a free zone provide companies with a number of incentives to establish a presence in the QSTP. They provide premises, services and support programs that help organizations develop and commercialize their technology. QSTP’s main aim is to bring research and business together to spur the development of Qatar’s knowledge economy.
The Qatar Science and Technology Park is located in Qatar’s Foundation Education City, alongside several major university campuses. The current members include EADS, ExxonMobil, GE, Microsoft, Shell, and Total.
Activities Permitted in QSTP
The various activities allowed in QSTP are as follows:
- Technology (product and/or process) development
- Research & Development
- Low volume, high value-added specialist manufacturing
- Education and/or training
- Technology-related consulting services
- New business creation and/or development
Advantages of Setting up a Business in QSTP
- If an individual incorporates a company in QSTP, he/she does not require to appoint a Qatari National Shareholder
- This park is exempt from all types of taxes
- No duties are imposed on goods imported and exported
- The companies located in QSTP are permitted to trade directly in Qatar without a local agent
Facilities Available in QSTP
There are mainly 2 types of facilities available in the Qatar Science and Technology Park:
1. Innovation Centre Office
It is ideal for start-ups and small companies. The centre provides fully-furnished offices with meeting rooms, business services and expert advice on site. The Innovation Centre is also the science park's communal hub, featuring cafes and open public spaces.
2. Tech Centre
It is a pair of two-storey building suited for medium and large companies. Tech Centres are able to accommodate both heavily equipped laboratories and modern offices. The customizable spaces are available in increments of 500 sq. meters.
How to Set Up a Business in QSTP?
The setup procedure at the Qatar Technology Park is plain and simple. It includes a few steps which are to be followed in order to complete the process. If you are not aware of the rules and regulations under this jurisdiction, you can also take help of a consultant to complete the process in less time. The steps to open a company in QSTP are as follows:
- The first step is to submit a description of business and research plans to the QSTP Authorities
- You have to further demonstrate to the authorities proving that majority of the monetary investment is dedicated to Research and Development
- Once you receive an approval from the QSTP, you can choose to set up a Limited Liability Company or a Branch Office
- The next step is to provide information such as proof of financial and technical proficiency to apply for a license
- After applying for a license, you have to also complete a Lease Agreement
- Remember that, to start a company in QSTP, it is mandatory to have at least 2 shareholders and a minimum capital of US$ 55,000
Documents Required to Set Up a Business in QSTP
The initial application is to provide the information listed below, which includes both general information about the entity and specific details about each of its intended Activities at QSTP.
- Brief background on applicant organization - Vision and Objectives of the entity being established at QSTP
- Implementation strategy (e.g. Project Management, Interim Location, Timing)
- Type of entity sought (i.e. Branch or Company)
- Intended ownership arrangements
- The company’s existing representation and commercial operations in Qatar, and how they would be affected by the establishment of a presence at QSTP
- Desired total space and intended layout
- Desired lease term
Information for Each Activity
- Overall description
- Description of the technology being addressed
- Collaborations or relationships with other organizations
- Is the activity revenue generating?
- Key intended markets
- Major equipment to be installed and any special architectural requirements
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