Assistive Technology Innovation Program: A Milestone For Qatar’s Entrepreneurship
Research article Open access | Available online on: 10 November, 2019 | Last update: 10 November, 2019
Mada is bringing the domestic IT private sector entrepreneurship into a new dynamic by launching an Innovation Program fro the Assistive Technology field, aiming to combine multiple sources of funding and raise the standard for the whole AT market in the Arab world. We see it as a national priority for the technology development in our region, and many markets around the world have shared this bold vision.
The Assistive Technology Center has a progressive and ambitious approach when targeting the market dvelopment: first, to set a new market standard through relating the domestic AT industry to the best practices around the world and second, to enhance the lives of PWD’s in Qatar and the Arab world.
The most logical step to take right now is to link all the existing sources and stakeholders from the Assistive Technology market in Qatar. Therefore, we will provide a mechanism to ease the process of how the AT products and services reach the local market.
Then, we will look beyond the borders and seek the support of potential local and international entrepreneurs interested in developing Assistive Technology solutions for the Arab market. Where will the money come from? Mada sees a combination of funding programs, such as Competitions and Tournaments, Incubation Centers and Direct Awards.
Competitions and Tournaments
First, we will target individuals and entities looking to develop a proof of concept for a potential idea relevant to Assistive Technology products/services. Then, Mada will introduce AT Award Segments within existing ICT related competitions and tournaments (e.g. Arab Mobile App Challenge, Microsoft Imagine Cup, and others), and fund the AT Segment related prize
Such incubation centers are a business catalyst tool for our industry. They could not only attract funds but drive a lot of attention towards Assistive Technology, therefore we will first target individuals/entities who already have a proof of concept for a potential idea relevant to Assistive Technology products or services. Mada will iIntroduce the AT Award Streams within existing Incubation Centers (ICT Qatar Incubation Center, Qatar Business Incubation Center, etc.) in Qatar to incubate entities with a potential idea relevant to Assistive Technology products/services. Then, we should provide funds to the Incubation Centers to support and incubate entities relevant to the AT Industry. It’s a straightforward and efficient proof of concept.
There are many existing prototypes belonging to already established entities. Mada will target those business entities first, analyzing their potential and relevancy to the Assistive Technology market. The way we see this avenue of funding is to provide money directly to potential established entities with relevant AT product/service concept, because we need to see these products catered towards the local and Arab market.