The presence of top Qatari and international universities in the country and the robust government funding for research and development (R&D) are among the “ingredients” that could help transform Qatar into a leading global technology centre, an expert on digital technology has said.
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Dr Jeffrey Cole, director & CEO of the Los Angeles-based Center for the Digital Future, was in Qatar to deliver the topic “Who’s Online and What it Means” during the “Distinguished Speaker Series” organised by the American Chamber of Commerce in Qatar (AmCham Qatar) yesterday at the Shangri-La Hotel.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event, Cole told Gulf Times that “all of the conditions are right for Qatar to be a tech centre.”
“Qatar has most of the ingredients such as great universities, both Qatari and international; the ability to bring in foreign high-tech experts that the country needs, and lots of money to spark growth and research, so I would think that if Qatar would really want to make it a priority… it could be a leading tech centre in the world,” Cole explained.
Another advantage, according to Cole, is Qatar’s population and geography, as well as its wealth, which could be used for R&D or to create a technology laboratory that would connect the country.
“Qatar’s wealth gives it the opportunity to build a laboratory in the country that would see the advancements in technology. Not only is Qatar small in population but it is small in terms of geography.
“Qatar has an extremely wealthy population in a very concentrated area, which lets the country really do things in a technology level that other countries can’t do. So I think that’s an extraordinary tool,” he stressed.
Cole’s statement mirrors the efforts of Ooredoo, which has invested more than $1bn in building its fibre-to-home programme and telecommunications infrastructure across the country such as its “ultra-fast” Supernet network.
Another similar undertaking is the Ministry of Transport and Communications’ “Better Connections Programme,” where it recently inaugurated another ICT facility at the Doha Metro compound for Qatar Rail labourers.
In a statement, the Transport Ministry said the inauguration of the 100th ICT facility will benefit more than 50,000 workers, who now have access to ICT technologies in their accommodations.
“Having access to ICT tools, labourers learn how to keep connected with their friends and families, in addition to learning new digital skills,” the Ministry said.
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