Posted on October 05, 2016

Stakeholders from Qatar’s public, private, academic, and research sectors gained insights that will guide their contribution to an in-depth overview of the nation’s research landscape, through a training workshop hosted by Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) in collaboration with the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS).

The two-day exercise at Qatar National Convention Centre, attended by 111 participants from 69 entities involved in research, prepared the ground for MDPS’ 2015 Research and Development Survey, which aims to measure Qatar’s research and development inputs – such as human capacity, infrastructure and facilities, and investments – to track progress, draw global comparisons, and support future planning.

Using internationally-recognised methodology, the survey – focusing on inputs during 2015 – will collate statistics and information from throughout Qatar’s research and development ecosystem, allowing key findings to be identified. The workshop, organised by QF R&D’s Office of Policy, Planning, and Evaluation (PPE), outlined the survey’s concept and components, and how to prepare and submit data, while also providing a networking opportunity for representatives from various sectors and research fields.

QF R&D and MDPS 1 [].JPG

“Levels and areas of investment, workforce numbers and characteristics, physical infrastructure, and other inputs are important parameters for gauging where a nation’s research and development effort stands,” said Dr Frans Van Den Boom, Executive Director, PPE.

“The purpose of this survey is to gather information that provides visibility, and allows Qatar’s research and development inputs to be monitored, evaluated, and benchmarked against other nations.It is designed to produce comprehensive insight, which is why we are providing training, guidance, and clarity to Qatar’s research and development stakeholders, giving them a framework through which they can contribute information, experience, and expertise. “We are delighted to be working with the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics, whose involvement in such a valuable exercise for research and development in Qatar is pivotal.”

Mohammed Al-Muhannadi, Director, Department of Population and Social Statistics, MDPS, said: “This survey will provide us with data regarding the number of employees working in research and development in Qatar, and the investments being made in the field of research within the science, business, government, and higher education sectors, while also providing data required by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).”

QF R&D and MDPS 2 [].JPG

Sessions focusing on elements including research and development expenditure, personnel, and funding, as well as Qatar’s global research ranking and the survey’s goals and methodologies, were led by policy analyst and research and innovation evaluator Professor Michael Kahn, of the Centre for Research on Evaluation, Science and Technology, Stellenbosch University, South Africa, who will supervise the survey’s implementation. “Economies need good understanding of how efforts to generate new knowledge are progressing, and surveys of this kind are globally well-established and an essential tool for governments, policymakers, and organisations involved in research and development,” he said.

“They are part of a learning curve and a forum for interchange between entities, as well as a process of measurement and evaluation. However, the intangible nature of research and development means training such as that provided by this workshop is necessary to ensure quality, certainty, and understanding of a nation’s research and development inputs and efforts.” The 2015 Research and Development Survey final report is expected to be published in early 2017, with MDPS and QF R&D planning to extend subsequent surveys to include measurements of research and development outputs, outcomes, and impact, as well as innovation.