Posted on May 04, 2016

Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) recently hosted a high-level sustainable energy workshop in partnership with the European Commission and the British Embassy Doha.

The event discussed two key technologies, ‘Carbon Dioxide Capture,Sequestration and Reuse’ and ‘Concentrated Solar Power to Produce Electricity or Hydrogen’. The topics reflect a joint commitment to the development of sustainable technologies in a concerted effort to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.

Participants at the workshop, comprising leading European and GCC scientists, presented ongoing research programmes and technological roadmaps to enhance the combined efforts of  both regions. And, as QNRF is a member of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), it also served as an excellent opportunity to showcase the solar energy facilities in Education City, a reflection of a national focus on sustainable energy.

The workshop expanded upon the progress, commitments and recommendations of the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21), representing an opportunity to identify common fields of research between the European and GCC scientific communities.This included the discussion of advanced technologies which aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by either converting CO2 into chemical products or storing it in depleted oil and gas reservoirs or saline aquifers. The development of such advanced technologies does,however, require long-term investment in global research and development (R&D),as well as ongoing international collaboration.

Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director of QNRF, commented: “This workshop is aligned with QNRF’s strategy to promote international collaboration, while also addressing Qatar’s Grand Challenges, which include Energy Security. We need to continue to build synergy between research initiatives in the GCCand EU, andit is very reassuring to know that this has been prioritised in both the Qatar National Research Strategy, and the EU Horizon 2020 research programme.”

Dr Philippe Freyssinet, Director of Energy and Environment, QNRF, said: “The workshop gave stakeholders an overview of some low carbon emission technologies research roadmaps which will help us to build our collaboration in common fields of interest between the GCC and EU.” HE Adam Kulach, Ambassador of the EU Delegation to Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia, emphasised: “Research and innovation has the potential to change everything, because without it, there is no developmental progress.”

He continued:“The GCC region has the capacity to become a global leader in the areas of ‘Carbon Capture and Storage’ and ‘Concentrated Solar Power’. This workshop serves as an excellent opportunity for GCC countries to find partners in Europe who are dedicated to cooperation and knowledge sharing, such as the co-hosting of student researchers who will help inform the next generation of research and development.”

Dr Malak Hamdan, Head of the UK’s Science and Innovation Network for the GCC, said: “I was delighted to be able to participate in this event, which brought together some of the top scientific minds from the UK, EU and GCC to discuss the pressing subject of global warming, in a joint effort to find solutions to vital global challenges.No one country alone can solve the environmental issues that threaten our world today. Hence, it is essential that we collaborate to find solutions together.”

The workshop concluded with several recommendations to facilitate and improve cooperation between EU and GCC research institutions.