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Mon 23 Feb 2009 08:08 AM

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Big names to attend Qatar science park opening

Virgin's Richard Branson on guest list for official opening of science and technology park.

Qatar's vision for a post-carbon economy will take a big step forward next month with the opening of the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).

Sheikha Mozah Nasser al-Misnad, chairperson of Qatar Foundation, will officially open the facility on March 16, which will also be attending by top ranking business guests including Virgin's Richard Branson.

The opening of the park is seen as a tangible step in Qatar’s journey towards a post-carbon economy, with more than $800m invested by the Foundation and its 21 partner organisations at QSTP, Gulf Times reported on Monday.

Other guests will be leading figures in energy, environment, health sciences and ICT industries including GE chief executive Jeff Immelt, Shell Gas and Power executive director Linda Cook, ExxonMobil Upstream Research Company president Stefen Cassiani, Nobel Laureate (Medicine) Martin Evans and Cambridge University Research pro-vice-chancellor Professor Ian Leslie and Syamal Gupta, director, TATA Sons and chairman, TCE Consulting Engineers Ltd.

“The opening of QSTP is a milestone in the development of Qatar as a thriving knowledge and research hub,” an official told the paper.

Qatar’s rapid industrial growth, coupled with its enormous investment in education and science, has attracted many technology-based companies to the country.

QSTP, which became operational in 2004, is currently home to 21 member organisations in energy, environment and health sciences and ICT fields.

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