QF continues support to innovation, technology
December 13 2016 12:15 AM

QNA Doha

As Qatar prepares to celebrate its National Day, Qatar Foundation takes a look at some of its  achievements

Since its inception in 1995, Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Economy Development (QF) has been working to achieve its comprehensive strategic mission in education, research and community development through the education sector.
To this end, it attracted world-class universities to Qatar to empower and equip youth with skills and qualities necessary for a knowledge-based economy and to support innovation and technology by drawing innovative solutions from various scientific disciplines, fostering a progressive society, enhancing Qatar’s cultural life and protecting its heritage, and addressing immediate social needs.
In this context, the research and development sector launched an integrated set of innovation and research initiatives to achieve Qatar national strategy in the field of capacity and development building, competitive research funding, and research connections programmes.
These initiatives included the creation of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office to manage, evaluate, protect and commercialise all IP-related agreements at QF.
Each research entity within Qatar Foundation will appoint an existing staff member to act as team liaison and represent the individual body’s interests in decisions regarding the protection of Intellectual Property produced by staff members.
They included the Office of Education Training and Development (OETD), as well.
Its focus area is to help build Qatar’s human capacity for the management and operation of research.
OETD co-ordinates and sponsors an ecosystem of education, training and development activities.
Another initiative was the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation (PPE) which was created to facilitate and oversee Qatar’s Research and Development (R&D) enterprise.
The PPE supports Qatar’s R&D enterprise in the vital functions of policy, portfolio analysis, strategic planning, co-ordination and evaluation in order to support decision-making and responsible stewardship of the country’s significant investment in research.
Since its launch in 2006, the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) has been by providing funding opportunities for original competitively selected research and development at all levels and across all disciplines with emphasis on the four pillars of the Qatar National Research Strategy: Energy and Environment; Computer Sciences and ICT; Health and Life Sciences; and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
In October 2015, the QNRF announced two research grants for two researchers from Sidra Medical and Research Center (Sidra). The grants are worth $800,000 each.
The first grant targets research into genetic predispositions to childhood cancer in the Qatari and GCC population, while the second investigates the use of immunotherapy to fight blood cancers focusing on patients in Qatar and the Middle East and North African region.
The QNRF announced also two grants for Hamad Bin Khalifa University, a member of Qatar Foundation, to support research efforts.
Each grant focuses on an important area of biomedical and biological science research being undertaken in Qatar, with one grant supporting research into Parkinson’s disease and the other supporting research into breast cancer.
The QNRF in collaboration with UK Partners launched Qatar-UK Research Networking Programme (Q-UKRNP).
This new joint research networking programme is designed to provide financial support to bring together a Qatar-UK bilateral cohort of early career researchers to take part in workshops focusing on building links for future collaboration and enhancing the researchers’ career opportunities.
The QNRF and the Doha International Family Institute (DIFI) announced a research grant of up to $50,000, focusing on the Arab family and policy related issues.
Research areas include marriage and family structure, parenting, family-work balance, and family laws and practices.
Within the framework of supporting entrepreneurship in the country, Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) celebrated first Accelerator Programme graduates, after the completion of an intense three-month Accelerator Programme’s to prepare them for launching their ideas to market.
The QSTP supported eight new research projects to facilitate the transformation of their ideas into feasible products that address market demands and bridge gaps between research and commercialisation.
QSTP’s Free Zone is home to many different types of organisations.
What they have in common is the development, transfer and commercialisation of technology.
These leading educational centres, operating under the umbrella of Pre-university Education in Qatar Foundation, managed to deliver high quality educational services, to get international educational accreditation, to expand and diversify educational services and programmes in addition to the strengthening of the national and Islamic identity and culture.
Last year, Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies (QFIS) won the award for the ‘MEED Quality Project of the Year’, as well as the ‘UrbaCon Trading & Contracting Social Infrastructure Project of the Year’.
QF was also recognised for two of its high calibre super structures by the 2016 MEED Quality Awards for project design and development.
Among seven other Qatari project winners, QF was awarded, ‘Residential Project of the Year’ for its male and female student housing, while ‘Building Project of the Year’ was clinched by the new QF headquarters.
Additionally, the Energy Management System (Solar Micro Grid Project), developed by QF in co-operation with Green Gulf Inc, was recognised as a national winner under the category of ‘Ramboll Sustainable Project of the Year’. The Energy Monitoring Centre (EMC) is part of the recently completed Solar Smart-Grid Project that added a total of 1.68MW of new solar photovoltaic (PV) systems at various facilities within the QF campus.
Qatar Foundation is now responsible for up to 85% of the country’s total solar photovoltaic (PV) current installed capacity of roughly four megawatts.
In the field of health, safety, security and environment, QF carried out an integrated waste management programme and implemented a comprehensive and sustainable plan for waste management in all facilities where 21% of waste generated by the QF facilities is recycled.
QF’s Qatar Green Building Council became a member of the International Sustainability Alliance (ISA), and QF announced Hawa’ak, a platform developed locally by QMIC to support real-time monitoring of air quality and other environmental conditions.
It also announced another to monitor water quality to ensure its compliance with the guidelines of the World Health Organisation on the quality of drinking water.
The Foundation developed plans to manage and implement an awareness programme on environment and a program on sustainability management to prepare a comprehensive report on sustainability in Qatar Foundation.
Qatar National Convention Center won gold certification of the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED). The QF received the prestigious gold award at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ Occupational Health and Safety Awards, recognising its commitment to workplace safety and raising health and safety standards in Qatar; and an International Safety Award with merit from the British Safety Council, for the second consecutive year, for completing 21mn consecutive man-hours without loss-time incidents (LTI) on QF’s new Headquarters and Strategic Studies Center.
Qatar Foundation also concluded the 8th edition of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) convened November, 2015 in Doha under the theme: “Investing for Impact: Quality Education for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.” The WISE Summit offered a unique opportunity to engage in the important debates and discussions on the full range of pressing education challenges with a diverse, global community committed to building strong, prosperous, and secure societies through education.
The QF continued efforts to empower Qatari youth through various initiatives including Qatar Career Fair which organised a range of activities during this year with aim to provide them with a range of practical skills and tools to help them choose the academic path that best suits their interests and capabilities.
This includes Summer Career Camp which saw Qatari high school students from around the country participate in a series of activities, programmes, and interactive workshops.
This year 672 graduates from the different universities at Education City.
The students are from Hamad Bin Khalifa University and QF partner universities.
This number represented the largest ever group to graduate from QF since its establishment in 1995.
It also marked an increase of more than 22% in the number of graduates when compared with 2014.
The graduates are a powerful addition to the country’s workforce, with specialisations in different fields.
In Qatar Foundation’s academies, Qatar Leadership Academy, Al Awsaj Academy, and the Academic Bridge Program, the enrolments increased to 4256 students this year.
The Education City’s universities unveiled this year a great deal of research projects and scientific and community initiatives.
Researchers at Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) made new discoveries about the effects of type-2 diabetes on the human metabolism and developed a holistic understanding of biochemical changes that are associated with the disease.
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) in co-operation with Boeing held the Machine Learning and Data Analytics Symposium, which featured top global experts discussing applications, recent advances and new solutions in the fields of machine learning and data analytics.
Changing Consumption Mindsets Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI) conducted a study on ‘Qatar’s Drinking Water Quality: Tap and Bottled’. The aim of the study was to analyse samples of tap water in households of Qatar and locally available bottled water, both locally produced and imported brands, to understand the quality of Qatar’s drinking water and to assess health risks that may be present.
Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)’s Artificial Intelligence for Disaster Response (AIDR) contributed to aid the relief efforts and save lives during Nepal’s two devastating earthquakes.
Once activated, AIDR aims to build a fully loaded treasure chest of Twitter posts related to an event for responders to trawl through.
Plans to expand data collection from other social media and digital platforms are currently being tested.
Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI) and the Japanese Preventive Medicine & Diagnosis Innovation Program at RIKEN (RIKEN-PMI) announced plans to establish joint research laboratories and programmes in Qatar and Japan, aimed at advancing preventive and personalised medicine in Qatar.
The two sides signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a framework enabling the parties to expand scientific exchange in the fields of computing, energy, environment and biomedical research.

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