QRDI Council, Sidra Medicine announce a new call for Qatar Open Innovation

Qatar Research, Development, and Innovation (QRDI) Council, in partnership with Sidra Medicine, announced the launch of a new call for innovation through its flagship program, Qatar Open Innovation (QOI).

The initiative aims to develop innovative, universally applicable sample extraction technologies for genome sequencing. Startups, SMEs, and corporates are invited to submit their proposals by the deadline of July 18, 2024.

The initiative

Sidra Medicine and QRDI Council's new initiative seeks an applicable "Newborn Genome Standardized Sequencing Clinical Sampling Technique" for global benefit. The goal is to create a painless and less invasive method for blood sample collection to be used for early detection of genetic conditions and large-scale genomic research.

This is the second call launched in 2024 by Sidra Medicine, in collaboration by the QRDI Council. Earlier this year, Sidra Medicine was looking for innovative proposals to develop a non-invasive diagnostic device for in-clinic use to identify potential smell dysfunction in less than ten minutes.

This opportunity is now in the "Proposals Evaluation" Phase.

On the record

"Through our ongoing partnership and collaboration with Sidra Medicine, we aim at driving healthcare innovation within Qatar with the goal of addressing major unmet global challenges. This new call for innovation requires both innovation and scientific research efforts to be put together in action, in order to develop the desired solution," said Dr. Abdelhak Belaidi, RDI Program Manager at QRDI Council. "This comes in alignment with the QRDI 2030 Strategy, focusing on the key elements, creating a robust RDI framework, to achieve the set targets for Qatar National vision 2030."

"As part of Sidra Medicine's efforts to advance newborn genome screening in Qatar and globally, we are excited about the opportunity to develop a less invasive, universally applicable, and economical newborn blood sampling technique for genome research. Currently, dried blood spots (DBS) or Guthrie cards are used to traditionally screen newborns, but this method provides limited DNA quantity and quality," added Dr. Ammira Akil, the lead principal investigator of this proposal from Sidra Medicine. "Our innovative approach aims to ensure high-quality DNA samples, making large-scale genome sequencing feasible and reliable. This advancement holds immense potential for early disease detection and improved healthcare outcomes for newborns worldwide."

The context

The Qatar Open Innovation program has been the primary platform for startups and innovators to engage with potential government and corporate buyers to co-create market-ready solutions that address the nation's most pressing challenges in the five national priority areas of energy, health, resource sustainability, society, and digital technology — as outlined in the QRDI Strategy 2030 — by identifying opportunities for innovation collaborations to drive economic prosperity.


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