Posted on November 08, 2014

Qatar Foundation’s Annual Research Conference (ARC’14), has announced the ARC’14 agenda to address Qatar’s Cyber Security Grand Challenge, focusing on computing innovations to protect Qatar’s cyber infrastructure.

The conference, being held on 18 and 19 November, will bring together expertise from Qatar and key entities of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), including Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI), as well as international subject matter experts. In support of QF’s mission to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity while addressing immediate social needs in the community, conference delegates will be discussing research aimed at protecting Qatar’s cyber infrastructure against threats, as well as assessing how advancements in computing technologies can be used for social good.

QCRI is focused on tackling large-scale computing challenges that address national priorities for growth and development that help to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity. By leveraging its strength in big data analytics, social network analytics, Arabic language technologies, and distributed systems, QCRI leads the nation’s research efforts to create new defensive and offensive technologies that aim to protect Qatar against cyber vulnerabilities.

QF R&D is one of the main pillars of QFand has been active in promoting Qatar Foundation’s vision of cultivating life-long learning, with ARC’14 being its flagship event in science and research in Qatar.

Dr Ahmed K Elmagarmid, Executive Director of QCRI, said:“As leading international experts come together in Doha to discuss the future of technology research excellence, we are reminded of Qatar’s rise in global prominence and expansive international network.Now more than ever before,Qatar relies heavily on computing and networking technologies to stay connected globally and to multiply its capabilities to meet demands, which requires a secure cyber infrastructure.

ARC'14 leads discussions [].jpg“Through the Cyber Security Grand Challenge, we are focused on developing research solutions to prepare and protect Qatar against cyber vulnerabilities, and to support continued and sustained operations.” In addition to the focus on cyber security, technology innovation and advanced computing will also be discussed in the context of humanitarian response at ARC’14.

On the first day of the conference, Dr Patrick Meier, Director of Social Innovation at QCRI, will moderate the principal computing panel discussion and Q&A session ‘Computing for Social Good.’

Topics discussed will be‘Unlocking the Potential for Big Data in Disaster Response’ from Mr Andrej Verity, United Nations Office for the Coordination of Human Affairs (OCHA), Switzerland; ‘Language Technologies for Social Impact’by Dr Stephan Vogel, QCRI; ‘UAVs for Social Good’ by Dr Austin Hill, University of Connecticut, USA; and ‘Mobile Data for Social Good – Cases and Caveats’ by Dr Erik Wetter, Stockholm School of Economics and Flowminder, Sweden.

On the second day, Dr Deb Frincke, NSA/CSS Director of Research at National Security Agency in Washington, US, will deliver a keynote lecture presentation for attendees on ‘Global Challenges for Unclassified Cyber Security Research.’ ARC’14 builds on nationwide efforts to advance Qatar's ambitious research agenda across cyber and water security, solar and renewable energy solutions, health management systems, as well as the social challenges, by providing a unique platform to activate multidisciplinary knowledge sharing and collaboration.

The event will offer thought-provoking panel discussions, technical presentations, and high-powered debates where leading experts will share constructive experiences and innovative approaches, ‘Towards World-Class Research and Innovation.’Abstract submissions have also been chosen on their merit and will be presented by leading local scientists on how to help address, lead and guide the computing research agenda.

Dr Elmagarmid concluded:“As part of unlocking technology and innovative solutions, we are also investing in partnerships for applied research that allow us to harness international computing expertise while supporting local Qatari capacity-building. In addition to cyber security, our research on advanced computing for social good is an important area of focus for us, particularly on developing innovative technology and ensuring the work we undertake has an impact for our local society.”

Hosted at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC), this year’s conference follows on the success of ARC’13, which was attended by more than 2,000 delegates and where Qatar’s research grand challenges were unveiled.

For more information about ARC’14 or to register visit:

For further insight into QCRI, please visit:

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