Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) will launch an innovation centre this year to help the country solve many of the challenges and provide solutions for sustainable development, said a top official of the university yesterday.

“We will be setting up an Innovation Centre and will call the industries to come with some of their specific problems. This will help us to think of suitable solutions and our faculty and students will work on them. It will enable us in providing solutions for some of the challenges of the country,” said Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, president, HBKU while answering a question from Gulf Times.

Dr Hasnah was interacting with media on the sidelines of the Makerspace initiative that was launched by HBKU at the Student Centre.

The opening ceremony of the two-day event included a tour of the exhibition space.

Maryam Hamad al-Mannai, vice president for Student Affairs; Dr Mounir Hamdi; dean of the College of Science and Engineering and Dr Emad El-Din Shahin, dean of the College of Islamic Studies were also present on the occasion.

Makerspace initiative – titled Green Economy, Business, and Entrepreneurship in Qatar aims to promote a greater understanding of ethics and practices of green economies across the broader community. “The Makerspace is introducing a novel solution to problems from a green perspective. This encourages the green ways and how we can find more solutions through several means. HBKU will take its knowledge into action to work on the challenges. There will be more initiatives involving the industries, private sector, government and academia,” explained Dr Hasnah.

“Sustainable economy and sustainable development are the key to every country around the world. Building more green solutions to the economy is the way to go forward. This is an effort to provide more awareness as well as bring solutions to the problems of Qatar, the region and beyond,” added Dr Hasnah.

Dr Mohamed Evren Tok, assistant professor and assistant dean for innovation and community advancement at HBKU said, “In the months preceding the Makerspace Initiative, our team members worked dedicatedly to develop a collaborative space that could bring together diverse individuals and organisations alike to learn more about green economies, business and entrepreneurship.

“By roping in different sectors of the community to partake in the hands-on and interactive learning activities, we aim to effectively broaden our collective understanding of sustainability and environmental protection through practice and activation.”

Key speakers at the event include subject experts from Qatar, both residents and nationals, as well as international visitors – all of whom bring their unique brand of experience having worked on successful business models that endorsed green economies or having effectively promoted sustainable lifestyles.

The event also hosts an inspiring awareness exhibition surrounding the many possibilities of sustainable survival, coined Living off the Land, and a friendly kids’ zone that aims to inspire the next generation of green advocates.

Additionally, members of the general public took part in a recycling workshop, where they brought along their own recycling materials – including used water bottle caps, water bottles, newspapers, plastic bags, and textiles.