Qatar Foundation’s flagship Annual Research Conference 2014 (ARC’14) aimed at tackling Qatar’s national research challenges began today at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). ARC’14 is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF), and supports Qatar Foundation Research and Development’s (QF R&D’s) mission to build Qatar’s innovation and technology capacity while addressing immediate social needs in the community.
This year’s conference ‘Towards World-Class Research and Innovation’ examines research priorities closely aligned to the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS), including Water Security, Energy Security, Cyber Security and Integrated Healthcare. As one of the main pillars of Qatar Foundation, QF R&D has been active in promoting QF’s vision of cultivating life-long learning and interest in science and research in Qatar, with the Annual Research Conference, organised by QF R&D, being its flagship event.
In today’s (Tuesday) Plenary Discussion, Mr Faisal Alsuwaidi, President of Qatar Foundation Research and Development, discussed with world-renowned scientists the future of Qatar’s research agenda and said: “Over the past five years our business model has focused on building local infrastructure. We are fully aware this is not something that can be achieved in the short term, but is rather a long term investment – managing expectations around this is essential. As we move forward, a successful research model will depend on building bridges between industry and research.”
Mr Alsuwaidi continued: “As Qatar and the international science and research community come together, it is our pleasure and privilege to have such influential expertise in Doha to partner with us on our mission towards world-class research and innovation, to support Qatar’s transition to a sustainable, knowledge-based economy. ARC is our flagship event and provides a uniquely dynamic platform for advancing the country’s ambitious national research agenda. We have come together to find local solutions to global problems.”
Mr Alsuwaidi was joined on the panel by Dr Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary Of Energy (2009-2013) and Nobel Prize-winning Physicist and Professor, Stanford University, USA; Dr Hiroaki Kitano, President and CEO of Sony Computer Science Laboratories in Japan, and President of The Systems Biology Institute of Japan; and Dr David J. Galas, Principal Scientist, Pacific Northwest Diabetes Research Institute, USA. The Opening Plenary Discussion concluded by recognising 33 graduates of the Qatar Science Leadership Programme (QSLP), a QF led initiative. Qatar Foundation strives to nurture the future leaders of Qatar and in all of its activities, promote a culture of excellence in Qatar that aspires to develop sustainable human capacity, social, and economic prosperity for a knowledge-based economy.
In line with the Qatar National Vision 2030, QSLP aims to build capacity to diversify Qatar’s petroleum and natural resource centred economy, by helping young people who are based in Qatar build prestigious and rewarding careers in the field of science and research. On Tuesday, the following graduates were honoured; Abdulla Jassim F M Abdulla, Abeer Salman A A Al-Hammadi, Abtesam Ahmad A A Yousuf, Ahmad Sami A S Abushaikha, Ahmed Tarek Mohamed El Ghamrawy, Ali Abdulhussain A A Mohammed, Ameera Khalaf H N Al-Jabiry, Amira Ghenai, Anas Ibrahim Al Bastami, Aref Yousuf E M Al-Tamimi, Bashayer Abdulrahman R A Al-Muftah, Danya Ahmed A A Saifaldeen, Eman Abdulwahab M S Nasralla, Ghanim Mohammed Y J Al-Sulaiti, Hala Sheikh Al Souk, Hessa Yousuf M D Al-Darwish, Isra Yousef (Mohammad Saleh) Marei, Kawthar Mohamed A O Al-Dabhani, Khadeja Mohd J M Al-Khawaja, Kholoud Nedham Alshafai, Lina Omar O A Hassna, Misam Ali Mehmood Jaffer, Mohammed Abdulmuniem Abdulrahman Al-Obaidi, Mooza Mohamed R E Al-Sowaidi, Nada Missad M A Al-Olaqi, Nada Mohammed Al-Balam, Nejoud Mohd A Almalki Al-Jehani, Noor Easa A A Al-Naimi, Nuha Rashid S. Alokka, Nura Adam Mohamed, Salwa Salah J Al-Mannai, Samreen Anjum and Suha Khamis M K Al-Sulaiti.
Noor Easa A A Al-Naimi, a QLSP graduate and MC at ARC’14 said: “It is an honour to have been recognised in front of the global research community, as an aspiring scientist in Qatar. The QSLP programme has been an incredible and inspiring experience that has provided me with a significant foundation for my future. I look forward to completing my PhD in Sociology that will enable me to assist in building Qatar’s human capacity.”
QF R&D is the custodian of the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) and leader of a science and research mission that puts Qatar and the Arab region on the map globally. ARC’14 will continue its two-day programme at QNCC on Wednesday, building on previous successes for the fifth consecutive year, offering thought-provoking panel discussions, technical presentations, and high-powered debates where leading experts will share constructive experiences and innovative approaches. Abstract submissions have also been chosen on their merit and will be presented at the conference.