Executive Director’s Message | August 2021
THE IMPORTANCE OF FACILITATING KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE
In recent years, the Energy-Water-Environment (EWE) nexus has become increasingly important for Qatar. These three areas are closely linked to one another and the progress or challenges in one area can have a profound impact on the other two areas. Therefore, while it is encouraging that serious efforts are being made on the national level, it is imperative that these efforts are concerted to bring together all the stakeholders involved in this EWE nexus to ensure that these three areas develop together.
Along with enabling research by providing grants on competitive basis, we also play an important role in bringing together the best minds and practices from different fields together. Our Conference and Workshop Sponsorship Program (CWSP), which is now in its 21st cycle, is one such initiative that aims to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and provide researchers from Qatar and around the world a platform to explore research collaboration opportunities.
QNRF is proud to share that under the CWSP, we are supporting the Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) to organize the upcoming 2nd International Conference on Sustainable Energy Water and Environment Nexus in Desert Climates (ICSEWEN21), a specialized conference exploring the EWE nexus. To learn more about this conference, we include an interview with Dr. Marc Vermeersch, Executive Director of QEERI In this month’s Edition of Research Matters.
Needless to say, the EWE nexus remains incomplete without considering its impact on food security and the collective action that is needed. In this regard, we have taken special steps to support our young researchers and scientists who have played an important role in strengthening Qatar’s food security. As this year’s International Youth Day, celebrated annually on 12 August, has been dedicated to recognize young leaders who are transforming food systems and improving overall planetary health, we are pleased to feature Dr. Tareq Al-Ansari, an associate professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University and a young research leader who has been working diligently in conducting research to help Qatar achieve its sustainable development and food security goals.
Lastly, I am glad to share with you a success story from Qatar University emanating as an outcome of an Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) grant involving a research team of seven undergraduate students under the mentorship of their faculty member, who have successfully developed a breathalyzer test that can potentially help detect COVID-19 and other diseases by testing exhaled breath. This impressive innovation can solve challenges posed by the current methods of mass testing and provides a cost-effective, rapid, and easy-to-use solution.
We hope that these success stories will help you learn more about the remarkable progress Qatar is making in the RDI sector and inspire you to be a part of it.