MoU signed for science park

08 March 2002

Plans to develop a 45-hectare science and technology park as part of the Education City complex are taking shape, following the signing on 19 February of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science & Community Development (QF) and the UK's Summit Corporate Services. The MoU sets out the agreements that will be entered into by the two parties for the park, which is expected to be accorded free trade zone status (MEED 31:8:01).

The MoU provides for two joint venture agreements to be signed by the foundation and Summit by late June, establishing a property company and an operations and management company. QF will have a 51 per cent stake in both companies with Summit holding the remaining 49 per cent interest. The property company will then sign a 50-year renewable lease with QF and enter into a contract with the management company for the park's development.

Summit says that it plans to start tendering the first-phase construction packages by 30 September with contract awards due in January 2003. Under the schedule, the park will be opened in mid 2004.

Phase 1, estimated to cost £45 million-60 million ($64 million-85 million), will comprise an incubator innovations centre, an anchor tenant building, a data centre, a mosque, and basic infrastructure including a temporary housing facility.

Education City is being developed by the foundation, which was established by Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in 1995 and is chaired by his wife, Sheikha Mouza bint Nasser al-Misnad. In April, the foundation signed an agreement with the US' Cornell Universityto establish a medical college at the site. The first packages are now out to tender among contractors on the multi-million dollar development (MEED 20:4:01).

Summit will be formally launching the project at MEED's Qatar 2002 conference, to be held in London on 15-16 May

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