Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad and Thales vice president Pierre Jeanne shaking hands after signing the agreement.

By Salman Siddiqui/Staff Reporter


Qatar University and the French multinational company Thales signed an agreement yesterday to establish the Thales professorial chair in Cyber and Computing Security (CCS).

The chair will be housed at QU’s College of Engineering, Computer Science and Engineering

QU president Prof Sheikha Abdulla al-Misnad and Thales vice president (cyber security technologies and solutions) Pierre Jeanne signed the agreement.

QU president said that the agreement was a ‘very good opportunity’ for students, QU faculty and industry leaders in cyber

“Cyber security is one of the main research priorities for the State of Qatar,” she said, adding: “In fact, apart from food and water security, one of Qatar’s ‘grand challenge’ is cyber security.”

She expected that the new chair would help the university even further to develop its research, which in turn would help Qatar.

Prof al-Misnad said that the chair meant that Thales would give a fund to QU to bring onboard a leading expert in the area of cyber security. “This expert will do research with QU students, faculty (and) industry (leaders) in order to help the country and universities, find solutions and find the best way to manage cyber security issues.”

The recruitment and advertising for vacancy of the expert would be made soon.

The QU president said that her students were already benefiting from the collaboration with Thales.

A memorandum of understanding was signed between the two organisations in 2013 to provide training opportunities for Qatari students in new and emerging technologies in the field of cyber security.

“Since last year Thales has been giving courses on cyber security to our students at the College of Engineering; also some of our students are doing internship in cyber security at (at Thales’ office in Qatar Science Technology Park) QSTP labs.”

French ambassador Eric Chevallier was among those attended the event, apart from several officials from QU, Thales, French
embassy, and ictQATAR.

Chevallier said: “I welcome very warmly this cyber security chair agreement between Qatar University and Thales. This partnership is a new milestone in the development of the links between Qatar and France in the field of education that I am strongly committed
to strengthening.”

According to the terms of agreement, both parties will co-operate to provide research and consulting activities, develop training programmes, and engage in CCS-related activities.

Jeanne said: “In November last year we made a commitment to help develop Qatari professionals in the field of emerging technologies and cyber security by partnering with QU. The results of our promise are now coming to fruition and the collaboration will help both parties learn from each other to develop solutions that will protect Qatar’s networks from cyber crime. Thales is proud to support Qatar’s efforts, especially those of Qatar University to meet the challenge of cyber security that constitutes one of the priorities for the country.”




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