Posted on November 09, 2015

Denmark’s newly-elected Higher Education and Research Minister Dr Esben Lunde Larsen travelled to Qatar last week on a visit to learn more about how the world’s leading institutions cultivate research talent. During his visit, Minister Larsen discussed a number of educational initiatives between the two countries, laying the groundwork for fruitful cooperation in the future. In Doha, Minister Larsen attended the signing ceremony of a Memorandum of Understanding between two leading education institutes, VIA in Denmark and Qatar University.

Minister Larsen also took part in a ministerial roundtable on “Education for Jobs and Sustainable Growth” as part of the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) on 5 November. The session brought together ministers to discuss the impact of the latest education reforms on youth employability in relation to the emergence of new, sustainable growth models. The annual WISE Summit is the foremost international platform dedicated to innovation and creative action in education. The 2015 WISE Summit convened under the theme “Investing for Impact: Quality Education for Sustainable and Inclusive Growth.” 

The minister also attended the launch of the World Robot Olympiad (WRO) that took place in Qatar for the first time on 6-8 November. More than 3,000 participants from 55 countries took part in the 12th WRO, with 4 schools competing from Denmark.

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In Qatar, the WRO finals represented the culmination of the year-long schools robotics programme, GO ROBOT. Organised by the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar (CNA-Q) and sponsored by Maersk Oil Qatar (part of the Danish company A.P. Moller–Maersk Group) with the endorsement of the Supreme Education Council (SEC) and Qatar Petroleum, the GO ROBOT programme supports student engagement and skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) subjects, teacher training and development and promotes the application of technology to enhance the learning environment for students. During the WRO, students were tasked with building and programming Lego Mindstorms robots within strict time limits to complete a set of challenges under the theme of “Robot Explorers”.

“I believe strongly that students must be offered engaging teaching modules of the highest quality by talented, highly motivated teachers and a learning environment that fosters creativity. The GO ROBOT programme, with the participation of Lego Education, is exactly such an initiative and I am proud to see a number of Danish companies — from Lego Education to Maersk Oil — heavily involved in building an appreciation for science and a knowledge economy,” Minister Larsen said. Minister Larsen also visited the Maersk Oil Qatar Research and Technology Centre (MO-RTC) at the Qatar Science and Technology Park to view a presentation on MOQ research activities in Qatar.

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The MO-RTC is home to the first-of-its-kind Digital Core Laboratory that supports ongoing applied research efforts in the area of enhanced oil recovery (EOR), particularly in complex carbonate reservoirs such as Qatar’s largest offshore oil field at Al Shaheen. The Centre is part of MOQ’s ten-year USD$100 million investment in applied research in Qatar, focusing on increased oil recovery, enhanced oil recovery and the marine environment. The centre partners with a number of academic institutions, both in Qatar and Globally. This includes a number of partnership projects with Danish institutions.

“Research facilities like the MO-RTC play an important role in fulfilling Qatar’s goal of becoming a leading centre for research and development, excellence and innovation. Not only does the Centre develop the latest in technological breakthroughs, but it also develops some of the best scientific minds in Qatar,” said Abdulrahman Al Emadi, Head of the MO-RTC.

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