QRDI’s Qatar Open Innovation Program Announces Winning Innovation Partnerships for Hassad Food in Collaboration with KAHRAMAA’s Incubator
Qatar Open Innovation supported its partners from its first edition of innovation calls by awarding agriculture projects to innovators from France and the US.
November 06, 2022
Doha, Qatar, November 6, 2022: The Qatar Research, Development and Innovation (QRDI) Council’s flagship program, Qatar Open Innovation (QOI), has announced the two winning innovation partnerships for Hassad Food, Qatar’s investment arm in Food and Agribusiness sectors, one of which has been developed in collaboration with KAHRAMAA’s Creativity, Innovation and Scientific Research Incubator (CIRI).
The Qatar Open Innovation program is QRDI’s first-of-its-kind initiative aimed at supporting the nation’s innovation ecosystem through fostering innovation partnerships for government entities and Large Local Enterprises in Qatar. QOI received 116 proposals from more than 34 countries for the innovation calls for Hassad Food, out of which two were awarded the winning partnerships.
Hassad Food awarded its calls, “Value Extraction from Agricultural Sidestreams,” and “Atmospheric Water Harvesting in Harsh Environments,” to the French SME, Rézomes, and the US Micro Nano Technologies (MNT), respectively. Hassad Food’s “Atmospheric Water Harvesting in Harsh Environments” call was awarded through the collaboration between KAHRAMAA and Hassad Food to exchange expertise and select the winner based on their unified goal of addressing national challenges in Qatar.
QOI facilitates the awarding process by organizing ideation workshops for each Large Local Enterprise, prioritizing their opportunities, issuing innovation calls, and evaluating submitted proposals. Ms. Haya Al-Ghanim, RDI Program Director at QRDI, remarked on the occasion: “We at QRDI are delighted to see our flagship program, Qatar Open Innovation, successfully serve one of Qatar’s leading organizations, Hassad Food, in addressing national challenges in resource sustainability and agriculture through research, development, and innovation endeavors. We have worked closely with Hassad’s team for the past months to identify the right innovators for their project calls. We want to welcome the awardees, Rézomes, and MNT, to Qatar’s RDI ecosystem and extend our appreciation for their support in realizing a thriving future for our country.
Ms. Al-Ghanim continued: “It is reaffirming to witness the integration and collaboration between national LLEs to utilize innovation for Qatar’s development. We encourage all local Opportunity Owners, startups, SMEs, and corporates, to join our QOI program and connect with leading innovative minds to develop solutions for mutual success and growth”.
On the “Value Extraction from Agricultural Sidestreams” call, Mubarak Al Sahuti, Executive Director of Business Relations and Communications at Hassad Food, said: “Reducing food waste is an important pillar to sustainability maintain our resources, according to the FAO, around 14 percent of the world's food is lost after harvest, this food loss contributes to an unstable climate and extreme weather events. These changes negatively impact crop yields, reduce the nutritional quality of crops, cause supply chain disruptions and threaten food security and nutrition”.
Al-Sahuti added: “We congratulate Rezomes for winning this call and we look forward to working with them to apply their innovative solutions for better Agri production outcomes for current and future generations”.
Answering Hassad Food’s call, “Value Extraction from Agricultural Sidestreams”, the French SME, Rézomes, promotes efficient agriculture through sustainable farming techniques that foster ecological and economic sustainability. Eric Charun, Project Manager – R&D & Innovation at Rézomes remarked: “Qatar is rapidly increasing its presence as an attractive destination for global innovation. Our work with QRDI in responding to the call for agricultural innovation serves as a joint opportunity to expand the knowledge and development of pioneering and tested technologies in agriculture. We have no doubt that QRDI programs such as QOI will continue to effectively facilitate successful partnerships that further the development and adoption of innovative solutions to address national challenges in Qatar”
On the “Atmospheric Water Harvesting” call, Mubarak Al Sahuti, Executive Director of Business Relations and Communications at Hassad Food Commented: “We would like to acknowledge the US Micro Nano Technologies (MNT) for winning this call. Through this contribution, we aim to contribute to the local agricultural development, by utilizing this opportunity to harness emerging technological innovations to tackle water challenges, which can be a threat to sustainable development.
Eng. Rashed Al-Rahimi, Head of KAHRAMAA’s Creativity, Innovation & Scientific Research Incubator (CIRI) and Manager of the Conservation and Energy Efficiency Department, the concerned department for this project, at KAHRAMAA, also stated We are pleased for this innovative project in cooperation with QRDI and Hassad food QRDI and Hassad Foods, to utilize water more efficiently to reduce the pressures on local reservoirs and irrigation systems. This matches with Qatar’s Water Strategy goals to utilize potable water wisely. It also coincides with KAHRAMAA’, represented in National Program for Conservation and Energy Efficiency “Tarsheed”’s mandated role by Qatar’s climate Change Strategy 2021-2026, in terms of decreasing potable water consumption and diversify water resources besides desalination to decrease Qatar’s carbon footprint and improve the environment. He added, Water Resource Management is one of the key strategic challenges. Through this project, we aim to find new, sustainable, and economically viable water sources in Qatar.
The US Micro Nano Technologies company, which was awarded the “Atmospheric Water Harvesting” call, specializes in the development and commercialization of membrane-based technologies for heat cooling, absorption cooling, and medical solutions. Dr. Michael Schmid, President at Micro Nano Technologies, commented on its awarded project, “Atmospheric Water Harvesting in Harsh Environments” for Hassad Food: “We commend QRDI’s approach to enabling new technologies that support Qatar’s National Vision, as it allows applicable technology from global startups to be introduced and tested in the Qatari landscape. Successful technologies can be further adopted into the Qatari business environment for scale, production, and much more. This provides Qatar access to new technology worldwide and enables further Qatari participation in these technologies as required. We are excited to be part of this process”.
The QOI platform addresses challenges in the five national priority areas of energy, health, resource sustainability, society, and digital technology, as outlined in the QRDI 2030 strategy, by identifying opportunities for innovation collaborations to drive economic prosperity. Future QOI calls will also meet the innovation needs of government entities. To learn more about Qatar Open Innovation, visit the QRDI Council.