QF R&D highlights innovative projects at forum
The need for collaboration across all sectors in building a research and innovation ecosystem capable of meeting the challenges Qatar faces has been highlighted to science and technology leaders by Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) at a high-level international gathering in Japan.
A QF R&D delegation is currently participating in the Science and Technology in Society (STS) Forum’s 14th Annual Meeting in Kyoto which is taking place until today. The event has brought together heads of state; government ministers and diplomats; and prominent figures in academia, industry, and policymaking, in order to provide a long-term, century-spanning perspective on how scientific and technological advancements will shape and define the future of humankind. The STS Forum has been attended by a number of dignitaries, including Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and Honorary Chairman of the STS Forum, and around 1,000 delegates. Minister of Education and Higher Education H E Dr. Mohammed bin Abdul Wahed Al Hammadi, participated in the STS Forum’s 14th Science and Technology Ministers’ Roundtable on ‘Society 5.0’, the concept of a human-centred society that capitalises on technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics, and Big Data.
Speaking at a session titled, ‘Collaboration Among Academia, Industries, and Government’, Dr. Hamad Al Ibrahim, Executive Vice-President, QF R&D, outlined to the audience how the ongoing blockade by neighbouring countries has provided fresh impetus for the nation’s research and innovation efforts.
“This situation has given us incentive to reflect on our progress towards building a sustainable, diversified economy, to analyse how we can become more resilient through developing our own capacity across many areas and sectors, and to ensure that we are the drivers of our own destiny,” he said.
“Necessity can drive action, change, and progress in a research and innovation ecosystem, if it is built on collaboration, synergy, and a vision that all sectors share. Fostering such an ecosystem in Qatar is central to the work of QF R&D.
“The challenges now faced by Qatar have brought us together, increased our awareness of the need to build our resilience, and inspired us to respond positively and with purpose. This mindset will continue to define Qatar’s research and innovation ecosystem, which has no boundaries, only horizons.”
Dr. Al Ibrahim outlined to delegates how the National Priorities Research Program of Qatar National Research Fund, part of QF R&D, is supporting projects that address Qatar’s key challenges and encouraging private sector collaboration through co-funding opportunities, and how QF R&D’s Hotspot Analysis allows research and innovation stakeholders to focus on technology areas which have the highest commercialisation potential. He also explained how the programmes of Qatar Science & Technology Park, part of QF R&D – such as its Product Development Fund and Tech Venture Fund – are enabling startups and SMEs to develop innovation that meets the needs of the local market. QF R&D also participated in the Forum’s seventh Funding Agency Presidents’ Meeting, where representatives from 27 countries and one international organisation discussed mutual interests, issues, challenges, and opportunities to enhance co-operation between research funding agencies around the world.