The objective of the program is to competitively select research projects that will address national priorities through supporting basic and applied research as well as translational research/experimental development.
Through this NPRP10 cycle, QNRF intends to stimulate partnerships between academics and research end-users.
The NPRP’s overall objectives have been revamped compared to the previous cycles. The program now aims to focus on research projects that demonstrate a potential impact on the development of Qatar’s society and economy emphasizing the following:
- tackle needs and challenges that local research end-users face;
- support projects with tangible impacts;
- focus on subjects that are highly promising in terms of commercial and technological potential;
- promote a public-private partnership culture in Qatar;
- encourage co-funding;
- encourage a more cross-cutting / interdisciplinary approach to projects;
- stimulate scientific excellence and the advancement of knowledge in Qatar.
The National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) is the main funding program of QNRF and the primary means by which QNRF seeks to support research that addresses Qatar’s needs. These needs have been specified as Grand Challenges in the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) 2013 and QNRS 2014. QNRF established stakeholder committees to collect input into what are considered Priority Research Themes within those Grand Challenges.
Responsiveness to Challenges
While Qatar is blessed with an abundance of wealth from its natural resources and has managed to accumulate a large amount of physical capital in a relatively short time, it faces challenges with respect to the development of human capital. The NPRP is assisting in this area by supporting the country's colleges and universities to attract, develop and retain skilled faculty members. The NPRP will also provide incentives for institutions to build the organizational infrastructure needed to support researchers.
Furthermore, the NPRP will help to build human capital through the promotion of knowledge and technology transfer, whilst encouraging collaboration with institutions outside of Qatar.
By funding research that will raise Qatar's profile within the international academic community, the NPRP will help to address the sense of geographical isolation felt by some researchers in Qatar, fostering a level of integration with the global research community, to the benefit of the researchers in Qatar and Qatar as a whole.
The benefits of the implementation of the NPRP will be both direct and indirect. Overall, it is envisaged that the people of Qatar will benefit through the long-term embracing of R&D. In addition to helping promote research that will directly benefit Qatar, the program will also provide indirect benefits by improving the reserve and quality of human capital in the country by attracting highly competent scientists, and thus convey prestige upon Qatar at an international level.