F1 team signs deal for tech centre in Qatar
R&D technology centre in Qatar will be first of its kind outside of Europe
Formula 1 team Williams on Thursday signed a deal with Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) to open a technology centre, the first of its kind outside of Europe.
The Williams Technology Centre will initially be tasked with the progression of two Formula One inspired R&D projects with clear commercial goals, including advancements of Williams F1's simulator for competition and road car application.
It is anticipated to employ 20 staff with a double digit million dollar R&D budget.
QSTP and Williams F1 will fund research and development programmes and, as partners, will both benefit from the commercialisation of the technologies that have their origins in Formula One, the companies said in a statement.
The centre will be housed in the 45,000 sq m state-of-the-art QSTP complex that forms part of the Qatar Foundation's strategic ambition to invest in a knowledge-based, post-carbon economy.
Dr Tidu Maini, executive chairman of QSTP, said: "This latest collaboration with Williams F1 presents technically inspiring possibilities rooted in a solid commercial context."
Frank Williams of Williams F1 added: "It is perhaps outside of conventional practice for a Formula One team to move such activities out of Europe, but we have been very impressed with the fertile environment QSTP presents for research and development.
"After detailed consideration, we have decided that this is an opportunity we cannot afford to miss, and we look forward to supporting the future of Williams F1 in part from the development and application of Formula One-inspired technologies to the wider world."
QSTP has been set up as a world class incubator for the research, development and commercialisation of new technologies that has already attracted significant R&D investment from companies such as Shell, Qatar Petroleum, Exxon Mobil and GE.