(MENAFN - The Peninsula) The Peninsula
Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), part of Qatar Foundation Research, Development, and Innovation, has awarded its Product Development Fund (PDF) to Waasla, a cloud-based supplier relationship management (SRM) platform designed to enhance supplier performance and relations.
QSTP's PDF assists and encourages small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and startups in the priority areas of energy, environment, healthcare, and ICT to develop innovative products or services that are relevant to the needs of the local market.
The funding agreement was signed by Yosouf Abdulrahman Saleh, Executive Director, QSTP, and Ali Al Marri, founder and CEO, Waasla, in a ceremony at QSTP, yesterday.
Waasla's platform employs Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning to assist businesses in selecting and collaborating with suppliers.
The platform covers all aspects of SRM, from initial registration to ongoing performance assessment, offering businesses a complete view of their supplier relations.
Aysha Al Hamadi, Director of Product Development and Grant Management Fund, QSTP, said, 'We are happy to ink another funding agreement, this time providing support for Waasla, a promising startup that aims to play an essential role in boosting business productivity in Qatar.
Through such agreements, we demonstrate our unwavering commitment to the development of the local innovation ecosystem and contribute to the growth of tech startups and innovative technologies.
Since its launch in 2016, QSTP's PDF has awarded subsidy grants to 18 SMEs, eight of which have successfully graduated from the program with innovative products that range from a smart edutainment app, ‘Haya', by Al-Doha Link LLC, to an autonomous delivery vehicle, ‘Droid', by Airlift QSTP LLC; and an ‘Automated Customer Profiling Platform', by iHorizons WLL.
Ali Al Marri, founder and CEO, Waasla, said 'We are excited to secure QSTP's financial support.
Equally important, we look forward to receiving the support of QSTP's team of mentors, which will be instrumental in the development and marketing of our product in Qatar and the region.
To be eligible for the PDF, at least 20 percent of the private sector SME should be owned by a Qatari individual, and the SME should have up to 249 employees.
Qatar-based SMEs that are successful in securing PDF support may be awarded funds of up to 50 percent of the cost of the product or service proposal.
Currently, five new projects are under evaluation by QSTP's team of industry managers, and QF's research, development, and innovation experts.