Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Signed during Doha Forum 2019, the agreement provides a framework for cooperation and collaboration in areas of common interest.
The UNDP Accelerator Labs initiative will be the main focus of cooperation between both organizations. QCRI is particularly interested in increasing the institutional capability of this project in order to generate actionable collective intelligence that harnesses new and alternative sources and types of data.
To assist, QCRI and the UNDP will build capabilities among Accelerator Labs on data science and artificial intelligence for social/developmental applications through remote webinars and in person design sessions. Joint research and analysis of sustainable development data will also tap into QCRI’s know-how in these areas.
Over the next two years, QCRI and UNDP will also keep each other informed of and consult on matters of common interest which could lead mutual collaboration.
Regular meetings will determine the progress of activities and set the parameters for future activities. Both parties will also invite observers to relevant conferences and meetings of relevance to the terms and conditions of the MoU.
Speaking after the signing, Dr. Ahmed K Elmagarmid, executive director, QCRI, said: “This partnership provides an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that we conduct multidisciplinary computing research relevant to the needs of the whole world. Social computing is a key component of our research activities and we’re determined to fully employ our capabilities to enhance the work of the UNDP Accelerator Labs. We’re confident that this will result in better and more informed decision-making regarding shared development problems.”
UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, underlined: “We are operating in a complex, unpredictable world – but with the right intelligence, design and experimentation, we can accelerate positive change. This partnership between policy and sciences is of paramount importance to enhance UNDP Accelerator Lab Network’s capabilities, maximizing the use of data science and artificial intelligence to explore and analyze today’s global patterns, as well as anticipate responses for emerging challenges.” Dr. Ingmar Weber, research director, QCRI, added: “We’re naturally delighted to be working with the UNDP. Doing so resonates with QCRI-HBKU’s wider mission to act as a catalyst for positive transformation in Qatar and the region while having a global impact. We’re all set for a productive two years.”