London universities event at Katara highlights ‘Smart Cities’
March 02 2016 07:52 PM
The exhibition showcased a 26m ‘River Thames Installation’ designed to represent the flow of the Riv
The exhibition showcased a 26m ‘River Thames Installation’ designed to represent the flow of the River Thames in London. PICTURE: Najeer Feroke


Eleven of London’s leading universities have used an innovative exhibition at Katara - the Cultural Village to share knowledge about new technologies and highlight opportunities for collaboration with institutions and individuals in Qatar.

Organised by the London Universities International Partnership (LUIP) and backed by the £2mn ‘Great UK Challenge Fund,’ the event highlighted the role of knowledge and skills in developing ‘Smart Cities’ in support of Qatar’s National Vision 2030.

Themed as ‘Building a Smart City’, the exhibition showcased the ‘River Thames Installation’ created by a talented London graduate, Omid Kamvari who was nominated for the ‘Middle East Young Architect of the Year’ award.

Designed to represent the flow of the River Thames, the 26m unique installation shows how London’s universities are educating the next generation of city leaders, educators, planners, creatives, medics, researchers and builders.

Other ideas on show included initiatives to build sustainable homes and workplaces, projects to monitor the quality of food for humans and animals, and a programme about how schools can produce the leaders of the future.

“Collaboration between universities in London and Qatar-based institutions and individuals continues to grow and we are keen to build on that relationship to forge more partnerships in the future,” said London’s Deputy Mayor for Environment and Energy Matthew Pencharz who was the guest of honour and speaker at the event.

The London official has championed the use of technology to help cities modernise and function more efficiently.

“Sharing of current thinking and research on smart cities through the teaching of the next generation of city planners who are creating new apps and programmes will continue to have profound effects on today’s cities and how we all live,” Pencharz said.

More than 100,000 international students from over 200 nations choose to study in London each year. The British capital is a trusted destination for students and accreditations earned in the UK are recognised and respected all over the world.

Speaking at the event, British Ambassador to Qatar Ajay Sharma said many of Qatar’s leading figures have spent time studying in the UK.

“I am delighted that each year this figure increases,” he noted. “I am sure this will continue to be the case as demonstrated by the high level of interest in the LUIP showcase at Katara.”

Echoing the ambassador’s statement, LUIP chair Jennifer Parsons said their visit to Qatar has attracted many people and organisations who want to collaborate across a range of areas, including education, sports and aeronautics, among others.

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