Executive director’s message | December 2020
2020: The year of COVID
As we welcome 2021, let’s take a moment and look back at the phenomenal year 2020 has been for all of us. We entered 2020 with COVID-19 already upon us and that soon evolved into a global pandemic. Faced with such an unprecedented and complex range of challenges, the whole world pinned down their hopes on the scientific and research community to develop vaccines for COVID-19 and innovate solutions that can mitigate its far-reaching consequences.
Being a long-standing member of this community myself, I am proud to say that we delivered on people’s hopes as there are now different vaccines available, including in Qatar, which are proving to be effective against COVID-19. It is beyond impressive that such a remarkable feat was achieved in less than a year. All those who are behind the development of these vaccines, and all our health care workers and first-line responders, deserve our gratitude and admiration as this year proved that their selflessness and commitment to upholding human life and safety knows no bounds.
The past year has been quite a happening year here at QNRF as well. We began 2020 by relaunching our newsletter, ‘Research Matters,’ to share with you outstanding success stories that our funded research has produced and show how these projects are improving lives in Qatar and beyond. Due to the spread of COVID-19, we had to transition to a completely virtual working mode and designed innovative platforms to hold our various major events including the National Science Research Competition and FameLab Qatar Finals virtually to ensure that the ongoing research activities are not affected.
This year, we also designed and launched the Rapid Response Call in a record time to help Qatari authorities and institutions mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in various domains. While designed in response to COVID-19, we will keep offering this call to help Qatar deal with emergent and unexpected situations in a more effective and efficient manner. As for our various research-funding calls and capacity building initiatives, we ensured that they are all offered in time and adjusted to incorporate the impact of COVID-19.
In this month’s edition, we bring to you research featuring the latest innovations in the health care and environmental sectors in Qatar. Lastly, I want to thank all our readers for their support during the past year and look forward to sharing more impressive and cutting-edge solutions which are putting Qatar’s researchers and research institutions on the map.
Wishing you all a Happy New Year!