The Center for Sustainable Development at the QU College of Arts and Sciences is creating integrated knowledge and collaborative arrangements to solve the pressing issues of sustainable development of water and food security, preserving and protecting the environment in Qatar, while reducing and adjusting the long-term impacts of climate change.
As a result, QU designed and constructed a vegetable factory pilot plant to be located on the university premises, according to a press statement by the university.
Through its research centres, QU has stressed that it supports research projects focusing on food security.
Dr Hareb M al-Jabri and Dr Mohamed H Alsafran formed a QU research team to explore non-traditional solutions to meet the challenges associated with national food security.
The research team started to seek internal and external partners to contribute to and support the scientific and technical vision developed by it.
The research team selected Japanese company Chiyoda Corp because of its experience in the development of innovative technologies in the field of agriculture and vegetable production.
The proposed technology is compatible with Qatari environmental conditions, in terms of water scarcity, space constraints and high temperatures.
This unconventional technology is characterised by the absence of a link between production and environmental factors, which helps maintain the continuity of production and product quality and safety, the statement notes.
This pilot plant project is being implemented as part of a contribution programme to the promotion of educational and cultural exchange between Qatar and Japan, with a sponsorship fund of $6mn provided by Marubeni Corp, a Japanese diversified trading conglomerate, to QU.
Marubeni and QU signed a memorandum of understanding for the sponsorship fund in 2012 and have jointly implemented activities such as the publication of an Arabic encyclopedia describing Japanese culture and history, invitation of QU students to Japan, holding Japanese cultural events at QU and the establishment of a faculty chair in Japanese studies and language at QU to foster an understanding of Japanese culture.
Both Chiyoda Corp and Chiyoda Almana have a long history of successful project execution in Qatar, mainly in the hydrocarbon industry but also many other projects related to environmental sector.
Both companies are seeking to expand their collaboration with local entities and governmental authorities in Qatar to provide solutions for environment-friendly energy and conduct business activities that contribute to environmental conservation.