The Iberdrola Innovation Middle East centre, a new research and development hub developed by energy company Iberdrola in Doha, was launched yesterday at the Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP).
The centre aims to release new products and services for the digital utility, working at the intersection of energy and information and communication technologies.
Focused on the challenges posed by the digitisation of energy systems, the Iberdrola Innovation Middle East is a new technology hub from which the company is developing innovation and consultancy services in three key areas: smart grids, system integration of renewable sources and energy efficiency, according to a press statement.
Speaking at the launch event, CEO of Qatar Investment Authority HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said: “We value our partnership with Iberdrola; being ranked as No 1 in Europe and 5th worldwide. With QIA being a major shareholder in Iberdrola, we would like to welcome their Innovation Middle East technology hub here in Qatar and on the QSTP premises. We are looking forward to more partnerships through the different companies that we are major investors in.”
During his speech, Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galan said: “As part of Iberdrola’s commitment with Qatar, I’m pleased to inaugurate Iberdrola Innovation Middle East which, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030 objectives, is meant to become a technology benchmark for the energy industry through an open innovation program in partnership with our associates and universities. It will offer energy services to improve productivity and the efficiency of customers and consumers, and technical training focused on smart grids.”
The executive vice-president of Qatar Foundation Research & Development, Dr Hamad al-Ibrahim, noted: “We look forward to seeing great things emerge from this centre and hope it will be a catalyst for more technology companies to join us in accelerating the development of their products, and in helping make Qatar a global hub of research, development and tech innovation.”
Iberdrola QSTP managing director Santiago Banales presented on the innovation and technology consultancy projects being implemented in Qatar and the Middle East, together with a guided tour of the training facilities and smart grid lab.
The event was also attended by HE Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani, Governor of Qatar Central Bank; HE Ahmad bin Mohamed al-Sayed, chairman of the Free Zones Authority; Essa bin Hilal al-Kuwari, president of Kahramaa; and Ignacio Escobar, Spanish ambassador to Qatar.
The event included three technical workshops co-ordinated by the team of Iberdrola and several universities, institutions and companies partnering in the different innovation projects. The workshop tackled the latest technical developments and challenges in the fields of renewable energy, smart networks and ways to enhance energy efficiency.
Being fully aligned with Qatar’s innovation strategy, Iberdrola and its technology partners are committed to making an outstanding contribution towards fulfilling Qatar National Vision 2030 objectives, which guide the economic, social, human and environmental development of the country, the statement adds.
In addition to its important role as a base for research, Iberdrola Innovation Middle East is tasked with serving as the central point of Iberdrola group’s activities in the Middle East.