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Tribune News Network
Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI) has marked the launch of its new funding initiative ‘Innovation Coupon’ by signing an agreement with its first beneficiary ADGS – a local private sector SME that sells a suite of products that utilise artificial intelligence (AI), behavioural biometrics and emergent behaviour.
The signing ceremony was held at the QF RDI offices, where Dr Richard O’Kennedy, vice-president for Research, Development and Innovation at QF, and Dr Salvino Salvaggio, senior director, Implementation and RDI Office Management, formalised the award with ADGS President Hassan al Ansari and General Manager Christophe Billiottet.
Innovation Coupon is aimed at Qatar-based SMEs and startups in all sectors and industries that are engaged in the development of new technology-rich products and services. The fund is designed to benefit companies that have the needed capacity and technical knowledge to develop their product or service but require more support to resolve a specific technical or business problem. The fund will award up to 50 percent of the problem-solving costs for a period of up to six months.
Dr Richard O’Kennedy said: “The development of the Innovation Coupon highlights our commitment to foster local product innovation and support the development of SMEs in Qatar. The initiative will support startup businesses to overcome many of the growth challenges they face and the fund can help them improve vital aspects of their business.”
Beneficiaries must use at least 25 percent of the awarded amount to cover the contracting costs of a local research institute – such as QF research institutes and QF partner universities – or other local expert company or individual, thereby taking advantage of the local innovation ecosystem in developing new products and services.
Innovation Coupon will support ADGS by supplementing their capacity to further develop their cyber security product ‘STROKK’. The software adds an organic security layer on any system, in any language, and renders stolen passwords useless to hackers by learning the way an individual types to clearly recognise the user. STROKK is currently being purchased by customers in highly cyber security sensitive industries, such as finance, banking, defence, the armed forces and intelligence services in several countries.
ADGS is working to port its security solution from a Windows to a Unix-based environment. The ADGS team will use QF RDI’s award to employ external support in order to allow the company to continue its expansion.
Ansari said: “We are very proud to be the recipients of the very first coupon and it will allow us to resolve a process that will ensure we continue delivering our innovative product to local, regional and international markets.”
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