Posted on March 02, 2016

The Annual Research Conference 2016 (ARC’16), Qatar Foundation Research & Development’s (QF R&D) flagship event, is set to take place from 22nd to 23rd March at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).

Bringing together some of the world’s brightest minds, ARC’16 provides a platform to highlight the importance of strategic investment in research and innovation for the benefit of Qatar’s society while also addressing the country’s national ‘Research Grand Challenges’ on a global scale. The Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) provides the framework for QF R&D’s research objectives and measures of performance by guiding the decisions to invest in research and development programmes that highlight critical national priorities. 

“Qatar’s research and development objectives are clear - invest in human capital by encouraging continuous innovation and fostering a culture of excellence for the benefit of society. The Annual Research Conference showcases these efforts and promotes closer engagement among national stakeholders and the wider research community. It is a tangible demonstration of our dedication to driving research and development in Qatar,” said Dr Nabeel Al-Salem, Executive Director of Outreach and Communications at QF R&D.

He added, “Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, the theme of this year’s conference is ‘Investing in Research & Innovating for Society’. The event will see participation from leading experts, both local and international, to engage in progressive dicussions on best practices with the aim of addressing national priorities and tackling the four research grand challenges: water security, energy security, cyber security, and healthcare.”

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The opening plenary of ARC’16 will include a high-powered keynote panel discussion entitled ‘Strategic Investment in Research and Innovation for Society’. This panel features leading industry experts: Dr Elias Zerhouni, President, Global R&D Sanofi France and former Director of the National Institutes of Health, USA; Dr Hassan Al-Derham, President of Qatar University; Mr Suresh Sachi, Deputy Managing Director, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Singapore; and Mr Christopher Coburn, Vice President, Innovation, Partners HealthCare, USA. The panel will be moderated by Dr Maher Hakim, Head of Innovation Entrepreneurship Center at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMUQ).

A series of parallel discussions will then follow, investigating key topics in Energy & Environment, Computing & Information Technology, Healthcare, Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities, and Innovation. ARC’16 will showcase a number of important local and international collaborations. Guest speakers from Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), and Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), all members of QF, will be leading the discussions alongside local and international delegates.

The ARC has received over 1,300 scientific abstracts for its 2016 edition, a record number since its inception in 2010, and an 11 per cent increase since last year’s conference. Submissions from the local and international community comprise 64 per cent and 36 per cent, respectively, of all abstracts. Additionally, over 650 poster presenters along with approximately 50 oral presenters will have the opportunity to contend for the Best Poster and Research Presentation Awards.

Furthermore, this year’s conference will also feature the launch of QF R&D’s prestigious Best Research Project Award and Best Innovation Award, recognising Qatar’s outstanding, research and innovation projects. ARC’16 will also include the announcement of successful grant applicants under QNRF’s flagship National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) in addition to the 8th Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) competition, through which students gain invaluable research and development  experience under the guidance of faculty members.

For more information about the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference, please visit: For the latest news and announcements, follow the Twitter account @QF_ARC and #ARC2016.