National research strategy forum tackles key issues
May 18 2014 11:01 PM

Dr Ahmed K Elmagarmid, executive director of Qatar Computing Research Institute; Fahad al-Mohannadi and  Faisal M Alsuwaidi

Representatives from Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) stressed their commitment to fostering greater collaboration among the nation’s leading stakeholders gathered at this year’s Qatar National Research Strategy Forum 2014.
The four-day forum held at Qatar National Convention Centre brought together prominent representatives from key sectors, including academia, government and research institutes.
With the aim of tackling the nation’s grand challenges in the field of research and development, participants attended a series of workshops and discussed pertinent issues within cyber security, energy and water security, as well as healthcare.
QF R&D will produce a report that summarises the findings and conclusions from this year’s forum.
Faisal M Alsuwaidi, president of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation, emphasised the significance of nurturing partnerships in line with Qatar National Vision 2030. To ensure the alignment of goals between all sectors, he urged the attendees to embark on further collaboration that can advance the nation’s research agenda.
The Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) represents the first research and development sector-wide strategy in Qatar and defines five pillars or themes to achieve the country’s aspirations: Energy and Environment, Information and Computing Technology, Health and related Life Science and Technologies, Social sciences, Arts and Humanities, as well as enterprise-wide interdisciplinary research and development.
Fahad al-Mohannadi, general manager of Qatar Electricity and Water Company, underscored the value of synergy among different stakeholders and the positive impact it promises to have on the future of the country.
The stakeholders were especially eager to network and provide information on the progress they have made on specific grand challenges and to highlight the roadmap going forward.
Major Ali al-Kubaisi, head of the Department of Anti-Economic Crimes at the Ministry of Interior (MoI) in Qatar, explained: “We are currently working on implementing a joint venture between the MoI and QF R&D to establish a laboratory that will focus on tackling cyber crime. This partnership will create a critical infrastructure for cyber security and allow us to undertake the necessary research to address most of Qatar’s cyber crimes.”
Similarly, Dr Jassim al-Suwaidi, consultant cardiologist at Hamad Medical Corporation, underlined the importance of co-ordinating efforts in medical research to avoid any duplication.
Speaking on the progress achieved over the last three years, Dr Mark H Weichold, dean and CEO of Texas A&M University at Qatar, said: “What I am seeing here today is a move towards actively and aggressively seeking out partnerships and collaborations so that research institutes can work with industry, universities and so forth”.
In conclusion, the forum succeeded in seeking inputs from and strengthening partnerships with national stakeholders, while identifying key action items related to the grand challenges and aligning behind the plans for each one.

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