Posted on November 08, 2015

The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) at Qatar University College of Arts and Sciences (QU-CAS) and Qatari Diar Vinci Construction (QDVC) recently signed an agreement to establish a joint research project in the field of algae-based bio products.

The agreement aims to support high-quality research and development activities relating to CO2 capture and sequestration into innovative algal products. These products could potentially be used in road or construction sectors, and support sustainable development in Qatar.

The agreement was signed by QU President Dr Hassan Al-Derham and QDVC CEO Mr Yanick Garillon in the presence of CAS dean Dr Eiman Mustafawi; CAS associate deans for Academic Affairs Dr Hassan Abdulaziz, for Outreach and Engagement Dr Khalifa Hazaa, for Planning and Quality Assurance Dr Steven Wright, and for  Research and Graduate studies Dr Mohamed Ahmedna; CSD director Dr Hamad Al Saad Al Kuwari, CSD project manager of Algal Technologies Program Mr Hareb Al Jabri, QDVC Chief Support Services Officer Sheikha Athba Al-Thani, QDVC head of PR and Communication Ms Ferial Bouchaib, and  QVCD Corporate Social Responsibility coordinator  Ms Marie Marvillet.

The agreement includes research to determine suitable algae strains for production of algal products dedicated to long-term carbon sequestration. It also includes the development of a lab-scale biomass conversion process of identified algae to test the products’ quality and optimize biomass productivity and CO2 fixation efficiency. Commenting on the agreement, Dr Al-Derham said: “I am confident that this agreement will support high-quality research into carbon sequestration technologies that can be linked to the production of valuable products. It is a great significance for Qatar as it addresses multiple pillars of Qatar National Vision 2030.

“I am proud to see Qatar University taking a leading academic role in Qatar’s development towards a more sustainable society, through our newly established Center for Sustainable Development under the College of Arts and Sciences. I would like to thank our colleagues in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Center for their hard work and dedication.” Mr Garillon said: “The new collaboration between QU and QDVC will not only aim at the production of various algae-based bio products, but also solve the pressing issues related to sustainable development and fully aligned with QNV 2030.

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“This 4-year project aims at developing CO2 sequestration technologies through algal products that could be used for road or other construction sectors. It is an innovative initiative that also involves the EUROVIA Research Center based in France.”


Sheikha Al-Thani said: “We are proud to formalize today the great relationship that already exists between QDVC and Qatar University through this new partnership. Our aim is definitely to develop the local business network by implementing the highest construction standards and raise awareness among the population on sustainable development issues. This collaboration aims also at the production of various algae-based bio products that will create integrated knowledge and collaborative arrangements.”

Dr Mustafawi said: “This agreement  exemplifies the kind of collaboration that we would like to see more of between academia and the industry. Additionally, it highlights the College’s ongoing efforts to provide research addressing relevant local challenges, and which will contribute to fulfilling national needs for high-quality research, and becoming a leader in development of sustainable technologies. I look forward to seeing the objectives of the agreement put into practice through the collaborative efforts of our two institutions.”

Dr Al Kuwari said: “Using this valuable local resource to offset greenhouse gas emissions, whilst also supporting the local economy, is key in achieving a more sustainable future for Qatar. Algae are one of the focus areas of the Center for Sustainable Development, and can be used as a local feedstock for many different products.”