Tata firm to invest $12 mn in Qatar science park


Dubai : TCE Consulting Engineers, a Tata Group subsidiary, will invest $12 million over the next five years in the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).

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The investment will see development of new engineering solutions to meet environmental challenges.

“Buildings account for 40 percent of energy consumption worldwide, so with the right technology we can make a real difference in this area,” Qatar’s local media quoted TCE chief executive A.P. Mull as saying in Doha.

Stating that leading universities around the world were developing nanoparticles, which have the potential to bring immense benefit to society, Mull said: “We want to take the experimental work to the field in close cooperation with Qatar researchers and businesses.”

QSTP is home to international technology companies in Qatar, and an incubator of start-up technology businesses.

Established in 2004 as a part of Qatar Foundation – a private non-profit organisation set up to promote education, research and community development – the purpose of the science park is to spur development of Qatar’s knowledge economy.

Among the leading universities that have campuses at QSTP are Carnegie Mellon, Texas A&M and Weill Cornell.

EADS, ExxonMobil, GE, Microsoft, Shell and Total are also members of QSTP.

Mull said TCE investments would initially go into three research projects.

The first will be on developing software that assists the design of environment-friendly buildings.

The tool will determine the optimal use of renewable energy sources, energy-efficient features and locally sourced materials to minimise a building’s total energy “footprint”, he said.

The second project will study and design a solar thermal plant that will use sunlight to produce steam.

The third programme will aim at turning university nanotechnology research from around the world into practical engineering application products such as nano-fibre building materials, wastewater filters and cladding windows with ultra-thin solar cells.

“Tata has some very exciting expertise in energy and the environment, two of QSTP’s strategic focus areas,” Tidu Maini, QSTP executive chairman, said.

“We are proud to be partnering with them to bring these innovations to life and further grow Qatar’s knowledge-based economy.”

According to reports, TCE’s QSTP facility will open later this year and the staff strength will grow to 14, half of them researchers.