The Italian embassy in Doha and Qatar Foundation (QF) launched recently a joint social media campaign aimed at further strengthening the bilateral co-operation in the field of research and science diplomacy between the two countries.

Sharing a common interest in the area of scientific research and technology, the embassy said Qatar and Italy developed close collaboration and partnership to face current and future global challenges with innovative solutions and by enhancing human capacity through greater interaction among researchers and knowledge exchange.

The embassy highlighted QF’s vital role in establishing and improving connections with leading Italian research institutes and universities, and engaging them in Qatari research, development, and innovation projects.

“When I took office few months ago I had the chance to meet many Italian researchers working at QF institutes, and I realised that there was a growing number of local projects involving top Italian research centres,” Italian ambassador Alessandro Prunas said.

“When I discussed with QF the ways to enhance bilateral co-operation, we felt it would be essential to disseminate information about existing QF programmes to generate greater awareness among the Italian scientific research community, as well as highlight the contribution of Doha-based Italian scientists and experts as a means to encourage new research, development and innovation partnerships between our countries”, he pointed out, adding that this shared view led to a social media campaign produced by the embassy, in collaboration with QF.

The initiative, which is now being promoted on Facebook and Twitter pages of the embassy, features leading Qatari entities such as

QF Research Development and Innovation (RDI) and the internationally recognised Qatar Genome Programme, as well as three national research institutes: Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Computing Research Institute, and Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, which are part of Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU).

“Collaboration is a crucial factor for highly effective research. It contributes to both accelerating scientific progress and it enhances quality of the work. Our partnership with Italian research centres and scientific experts is part of QF RDI's effort in placing Qatar at the forefront of scientific research and technological advancement and providing solutions to national and global needs”, Dr Richard O'Kennedy, vice president for Research, Development and Innovation at QF and vice president for Research at HBKU, said.

The embassy said this campaign is based on a series of video-clips by Italian and local QF researchers who highlight their ongoing research projects and share their experiences of being part of Qatar’s and QF’s RDI ecosystem.

The videos are a window to the cutting-edge initiatives that have the potential to bring about positive impact in Qatar and Italy, as well as the wider international community.

The campaign, Prunas noted, also underlines the personal commitment of scientists and experts, who are devoted to their academic and professional careers in areas that are key to the future of the next generations such as environmental policies and sustainability, artificial intelligence, precision medicine and recently, the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

“These are just a few examples of areas of joint interest which are also top national priorities in Italy and Qatar. ‘Science diplomacy’ or as I like to call it, ‘diplomacy for science and research’ can be instrumental in building bridges between the scientific communities of our countries and bring about closer interaction for the benefit of people beyond borders,” the envoy said.

“The Covid-19 global emergency has made us realise that we need to improve common tools to respond to health crises and this can be achieved by reinforcing the network of relations that are already in place between our countries. Italy is eager to further increase diplomatic efforts to encourage research and scientific cooperation with Qatar,” he stressed.

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