Qatar to host innovation conference in Oct 2018
September 18 2017 09:34 PM
Ahmed al-Obaidly
Ahmed al-Obaidly


Qatar has won the bid to host the International Conference on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Regional Development (ICEIRD) in October next year, Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) has announced.

ICEIRD is a three-day conference organised by the University of Sheffield, bringing together academics, university technology managers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and businesses to foster and promote innovation-led growth.

The rights to host the field’s leading conference was secured through a joint bid between QTA and Qatar University (QU), which was presented in Thessaloniki, Greece.

“ICEIRD is a perfect match for Qatar as it is a regional hub where academics, innovators and entrepreneurs can continue to learn and share knowledge within and outside the walls of a conference hall,” QTA’s exhibitions director Ahmed al-Obaidly said in a statement.

He added that the hosting of this event "comes as part of our continuous efforts to work with local partners to attract international events and boost business events tourism’s contribution to the national economy."

More than 250 delegates are expected to take part in the conference for which QU will be the ‘local host,’ acting as a focal point between the host country and the association.

“Our collaboration with QTA to bid for and host this event boosts our efforts to invite academics to Qatar and collaborate with international universities,” QU’s College of Business and Economics dean Dr Khalid al-Abdulqader said.

QU is home to the Centre for Entrepreneurship, an AACSB-accredited centre that has been identified as one of the 35 best institutions in Entrepreneurship Education worldwide in 2017.

“In preparing for the conference, two international committees were formed: a scientific committee and another industry and community committee,” Centre for Entrepreneurship director Dr Mahmoud Abdellatif said.

According to QTA, the conference offers a platform for academics, university technology managers, entrepreneurs, policy-makers and businesses interested in the theory and practice of university-industry links as well as innovation, entrepreneurship, and regional development.

First held in 2007, ICEIRD has been taking place annually for the past 10 years in Europe; for its second decade, it will rotate worldwide and be hosted in a different region every year. The 2018 edition will be the first edition to be hosted in the Middle East.

Owing to the country’s state-of-the-art facilities and tourism assets, Qatar has a strong track record in successfully hosting large-scale international conferences and events.

Between 2014 and 2016, Qatar hosted a total of 56 events affiliated with the International Congress and Convention Association.

ICEIRD founder, Professor Panayiotis Ketikidis said: “Taking the 11th ICEIRD beyond Europe is a step towards satisfying global demand for the wealth of knowledge that the conference has produced through its wide network over the past decade.”

“We are highly honoured that the ICEIRD 2018 will be hosted by QU and are confident that being hosted in a true regional innovation hub will further expand the conference’s network,” the ICEIRD founder added.

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