The Innovation Space will serve as a platform for connecting and sharing ideas, people, resources and expertise, and will act an incubator for novel initiatives that address critical issues. It is also meant to help the students, faculty and researchers transform their ideas into reality, and has substantial added value in technology transfer and commercialisation.
“HBKU’s Innovation Space is grounded in the University’s identity and is one of many critical projects outlined in the 10-year strategic plan,” explained Dr Ahmad Hasnah, president of HBKU.
“Across all levels, HBKU works to develop an innovative culture under which novel ideas from the HBKU community are encouraged and can thrive. The Innovation Space will play a critical and integral role in instilling this entrepreneurial mindset. The Innovation Space will be a platform within HBKU for experimentation and creativity, fostering a culture that encourages risk-taking and does not stigmatise failure.”
The initiative will connect members of the HBKU community to leaders in start-up ecosystems around the globe; provide entrepreneurship-related education to the Education City community; assist local businesses and industries in developing an innovation focus; connect start-up teams with experts for mentorship and potential investors; and provide support services. The ultimate aim of the Innovation Space is to develop a steady pipeline of commercialisation-ready technologies and ideas.
Innovation Space initiatives are underway and are carried out within the University and across the colleges and research institutes, as they seek to address topics in humanities, social sciences, engineering, ICT, and health and life sciences.
A makerspace initiative by the College of Islamic Studies was launched recently through which students were able to produce a global Islamic resolution for humanity.
Additionally, researchers at Qatar Computing Research Institute have developed a Machine Learning platform with many applications, currently being piloted at Qatar Airways and other local institutions. A growing number of e-platforms are in different stages of development, including the Rayyan systematic review system, which has more than 9,000 users worldwide; the Artificial Intelligence for Digital Response system, which is consistently utilised by the United Nations to monitor disaster areas across the globe; as well as the Jalees e-reader application, which proved to be beneficial to many schools in Qatar.
The HBKU Innovation Space is still in its early development stages, and is yet to reach its full-intended potential. Many of its programmes are currently in the planning stages, such as the pre-incubation programme and the idea development fund, in addition to numerous activities and events, which aim to create opportunities for HBKU’s community of students, faculty, and researchers.