Posted on May 01, 2013

In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030 and moving towards a knowledge based economy, the State of Qatar has long recognized the importance of research and development and is allocating 2.8% of its GDP to R&D.  To foster research and stimulate homegrown innovations, Qatar has established several research platforms and launched research initiatives.

In this national drive towards R&D, Qatar Petrochemical Company (QAPCO) organized its first Research and Development Forum, bringing together experts and researchers from some of the most prominent universities and research centers in Qatar. QAPCO, one of the leading petrochemical powerhouses in the region, strongly believes in R&D and its long-term benefits and has forged numerous partnerships with research centers in Qatar to further develop applied research and to identify common areas of R&D collaboration.

The QAPCO Research and Development Forum brought together representatives from Texas A&M University at Qatar (TAMUQ), Qatar University (QU), Qatar Environment & Energy Research Institute (QEERI) and the College of the North Atlantic (CAN-Q), allowing them to share with QAPCO their research capabilities and some of their most exciting success stories in the R&D field.

QAPCO’s Vice Chairman and CEO, Dr. Mohammed Al Mulla said: “Thanks to the wise leadership of the State, Qatar is establishing itself as an internationally recognized research hub by attracting high level academics and researchers, developing vibrant research centers and incubators, by developing homegrown fundamental and applied research and encouraging strong collaboration between the industry and academia. It is our role at QAPCO to contribute to the progress and advancement of research, by partnering, supporting and collaborating with universities and research institutes in the fields of engineering and chemistry. Research is the cornerstone of technological advancement and scientific innovation. ”

Participants exchanged on common research areas and highlighted their collaboration with QAPCO, in the fields of materials, polymers and their applications, related to QAPCO’s operations and main products. QAPCO produces low-density polyethylene (LDPE), the most commonly used type of plastic, which applications are part of our daily lives, such as food packaging, green house films, containers, wires and cables amongst many others.

For the past years, QAPCO has developed its Research and Development Strategy, which includes strong collaboration with academic centers in the field of petrochemicals, such as the establishment of the Polymer Chair at Qatar University or the Chair of Polymer Science and Engineering at TAMUQ.

Dr. Mohammed Al Mulla stated: “Strengthening our ties with research institutes is crucial. We believe that some of our joint findings can not only add value to our products and processes, but they can also benefit the plastic industry as a whole, on a global level. Some of the joint research developed between QAPCO and its partners has already been published in internationally recognized scientific journals. It highlights the high level of R&D in Qatar and how it can truly make a difference on the international scene.”

During the Forum, Qatar University presented some of their projects developed with QAPCO, like the use of Polyolefin based materials in green building and their energy saving applications.

Mr. Youssef Rebeeh, COO of QAPCO, mentioned: “Sustainability is our priority and embedded in our strategy, from our daily operations to our end products. R&D is a key pillar at QAPCO. Therefore, focusing on sustainability oriented R&D is a must for us.  We are contributing to developing products, technologies and applications that will make our daily lives more sustainable, for the benefits of the generations to come. Plastic in general and its applications have many features that can be even further developed and can contribute, via practical applications, to a greener more sustainable world.”

QU and QAPCO are also working together on a project to use locally produced polymers to develop novel polymer nano-composite. This project is funded by Qatar Foundation’s National Priorities Research Program (NPRP).

Furthermore, QAPCO is collaborating with Texas A&M at Qatar and Texas A&M College Station (USA) on Polyolefin research and active in Qatar Foundation’s National Priorities Research Program, especially in the areas of Material Science and Energy and Environmental research.

Identifying the needs of the community and of the industry, by contributing to the development of R&D programs in Qatar, by fostering progress and stimulating innovation is important for QAPCO, as some of the findings can be life-changers and can bring true benefits for Qatar and for the world.

QAPCO thanked all the participants for their valuable contributions to QAPCO’s first Research and Development Forum. The participants in the forum included Dr. Mohammed Al Mulla, Vice Chairman & CEO of QAPCO, Dr. Mark Weichold, Dean and CEO of TAMUQ, Dr. Hassan Al-Dirham, VP of Research at QU and Dr. Rabi Mohtar, Executive Director of QEERI amongst many other representatives from those research institutions. 

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