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Ministry of Municipality and QRDI Launch Innovation Opportunity through Qatar Open Innovation Program

The opportunity targets creating innovative solutions for the early detection of the destructive Red Palm Weevil insect

Press Release October 30, 2022

30 October 2022: The Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council, in partnership with the Ministry of Municipality, is seeking to enhance innovation efforts in addressing key local, regional, and global agricultural challenges as part of the framework of QRDI’s Qatar Open Innovation (QOI) Program.

The cooperation aims to create innovative solutions to detect the Red Palm Weevil (Rynchophorus Ferrugineous) insect early in its life before its development. The Red Palm Weevil is the most damaging insect to palm trees worldwide. The joint effort by QRDI and the Ministry of Municipality aims to combat the insect population to avoid damaging palm trees. Qatar is home to more than one million palm trees in private and public farms, out of which about 13,000 are in public farms under the purview of the Ministry of Municipality.

Eng. Suleiman Abdullah, Director of Planning and Quality Department at the Ministry of Municipality, stated: “The current innovation opportunity offered by the Ministry, in partnership with the QRDI Council’s QOI Program, is among the various opportunities to be offered in the future to address challenges faced by the Ministry. Through this opportunity, we look forward to obtaining the best and latest innovative technologies to combat Red Palm Weevil and preserve palm trees, which are the national emblem and icon of the State of Qatar. We are pleased to be the partner that allows innovators to test their innovations and release them to regional and global markets”.

By launching this opportunity through the QOI Program, the Ministry of Municipality aspires to create an innovative technology suitable for operation in Qatar’s natural climate and address the challenges in the early detection of Red Palm Weevil in Qatar. The potential technology must function concerning the full height of palm trees, which can grow up to 20 meters. The innovative technology should also provide a low detection cost per palm tree and support remote operation. 

Ms. Nada Al-Olaqi, RDI Program Director at the QRDI Council, said: “We cooperated with the Ministry of Municipality, our latest partner joining the QOI Program, to provide an innovative solution that contributes to preserving palm trees – a key element of the State’s agricultural wealth, and a major component of Qatar’s culture and heritage. Palm trees are truly a significant element in the environment of Qatar. With the successful development of this new technology, the Ministry of Municipality will be able to support palm tree cultivation all over Qatar. The technology will also be enabled to maintain palm trees and improve their production, which contributes to sustainable economic development and realizing the Qatar National Vision 2030.”

The QRDI Council launched the QOI Program at the beginning of this year to invite local and international innovators to submit technological innovations that meet the needs of major national institutions and government agencies in Qatar. The program is the first of its kind in Qatar in its support of the innovation ecosystem in Qatar. Since its inception, Hassad Food, Qatar General Electricity & Water Corporation (KAHRAMAA), Ooredoo, Milaha, Sidra Medicine, and the Ministry of Municipality have joined the QOI Program.

To learn more about the program, visit the QRDI Council.


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