The three-day joint Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum (ARF) and Arab Expatriate Scientists Network Symposium will conclude today. The event has been a tremendous success, bringing over 2,000 delegates from around the world together at Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).
Following an introductory speech by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and community Development, the first day of the conference featured an array of informative announcements and panel discussions. The highly anticipated Qatar National Research Strategy was unveiled, followed by the National Cancer Research Strategy. Additionally, an overview of Arab Expatriate Scientists Network (AESN) initiatives was presented, along with a lecture on innovation in sustainable development.
The AESN panel was presented and moderated by Dr. Nabeel Al-Salem, Deputy Director of Qatar National Research Fund, who hailed the cooperation between the forum’s organisers. “One of the highlights of today’s event was that it was a joint forum between the ARF and Arab Expatriate Scientists Network,” he said. “These two institutions have really come together to make the three days a true success. It’s a very exciting and enriching moment because during the past years at Qatar Foundation many centres were created and were a product of the AESN. Today we are able to see these institutes come to reality and are actually on the ground. To go forward and to take this initiative to the next level is significant. Our endeavours are definitely gaining momentum.”
Solar energy research and application was a central theme at this year’s Annual Research Forum, as the development of renewable energy expertise remains a crucial element for the nation’s sustainable future. “The first step is to carry out a study of the carbon footprint in Qatar and to understand how energy is consumed,” said Dr. Diego Martinez from Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI).
“With air-conditioning systems consuming nearly 60 per cent of electricity in the Gulf during the summertime, we need to identify sectors that can run on renewable energy.” QEERI is currently investing in the field of solar energy to help reduce the nation’s carbon dependency on its journey towards a knowledge economy.
Yesterday’s sessions featured presentations from students and professionals around the four pillars of this year’s key topics – health and biomedicine; energy and environment; computing and information technology; and arts, behavioral and social sciences, humanities, and Islamic studies. In addition, parallel workshops ran throughout the afternoon, with subjects ranging from Qatar cardiovascular research to research capacity building.
Throughout the forum, research poster presentations submitted for expert review were on display, with the winners announced at last night’s Award Ceremony and Gala Dinner, which was also held at the QNCC.
The Annual Research Forum is a Qatar Foundation initiative rooted in the State of Qatar’s national strategy to foster a community of research excellence and world-class education. More information about can be found online at www.qf-arf.org.
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