Posted on July 17, 2018

Hamad Bin Khalifa University’s (HBKU) Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) organized QEERI Technology and Innovation 2018, an event to inspire and lead scientists to transform their research and ideas from strategic initiatives into value-added technology solutions.

The three-day event, which was held at the HBKU Research Complex, was directed by notable professionals in the world of innovation. Mark Crowell, whose experience ranges from working as the Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) to holding the post of President of the Association of University Technology Managers, was in attendance. Dr. Ian Proctor, who is an innovation consultant at the University of Manchester, and a former director of technology transfer at KAUST as well as a former director of technology transfer at the Dhahran Techno-Valley Company, also led the event.  The event was attended by Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, vice president of the Research, Development and Innovation Council at Qatar Foundation (QF), as well as QEERI’s distinguished management and staff members.

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Commenting on the event, Dr. Marc Vermeersch, executive director at QEERI said: “A culture of entrepreneurial innovation is essential to enable QEERI to reach its full potential, and for us to contribute towards turning QEERI and Qatar as a whole into a hub for technology development. By discussing topics such as innovation management, design thinking, industry engagement, entrepreneurship, and innovation-based economic development, we aim to empower our scientists to look beyond the lab and transform their ideas into real-world software and hardware solutions.”

Attendees gained an insight into the fundamentals of intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, confidentiality agreements, the process of documenting and disclosing inventions. The event further examined the role of inventors and researchers as part of the technology-transfer process, as well as principles of innovation and design thinking – a platform for transitioning to a market-driven research agenda. “We are thrilled to be here at QEERI for the Technology and Innovation event. Events such as this are critical in raising expectation levels towards the expansive development of the local innovation culture,” said Crowell. “Having QEERI’s researchers here together as a community enables us to identify their needs and develop the most suitable strategies for technology advancements.”

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Dr. Proctor added: “These discussions encourage scientists to think about their research in new ways, and to examine their obligations towards their research sponsors and stakeholders such as the institute and the community at large, encouraging them to create value to their discovery.” Dr. Rachid Zaffou, technology committee chair at QEERI, explained: “This event is the first in a series of initiatives organized by QEERI management to ensure that our scientists have the knowledge and the mindset to innovate and to approach science itself with an entrepreneurial mindset - this is key in driving ideas towards fruition in the form of value-creation.”

QEERI – one of HBKU’s three national research institutes – is committed towards aiding Qatar to overcome its energy and water security grand challenges through targeted research and strategic development.

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