QATAR Foundation research strategy …‘set for review next month’

There will be a review of the implementation of the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS) in April this year, said Faisal al-Suwaidi, president of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation yesterday.

Al-Suwaidi speaks at the forum

He revealed this during an interaction with Sean Evers, managing partner, Gulf Intelligence at the fourth Gulf Intelligence Doha Energy Forum held at Texas A&M University in Qatar (TAMUQ). QNRS was launched in October last year during the Annual Research Forum (ARF) to set up the priorities for research activities in Qatar. The research strategy had identified 72 areas of research under various fields such as health, biomedicine, energy, environment, computer science, information technology, arts, behavioural, social, humanitarian sciences and Islamic studies. Al-Suwaidi said that during the upcoming meeting in April, there will be a review of the strategy and some major priorities will be set up, depending on the  existing needs.

He explained, “We will identify around 10 grand challenges facing the country in various areas and will set up programmes to address them. We will also redefine the role of the various entities in research and decide on the course of their action.”  He added that the QNRS will be reviewed and the progress will be evaluated at least once in a year, hereafter.

The research director said that the role of Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) will be redefined soon. He elaborated, “So far QSTP was involved more in research activities.  Hereafter, QSTP will conduct less research and work more as an incubator of technology development. We will bring in more international experts in to QSTP.”

He further said that the oil and gas industry is under-represented in the research activities.  “60% of the national income comes from the oil and gas industry but the research efforts in this field do not match the income generated from the sector. Therefore, more research activities are needed in this sector and I encourage various organisations to come up with new research projects in the energy sector,” he added.
Al- Suwaidi commented that Qatar was keen to have more PhD programmes in various universities to accelerate the research facilities in the country. He said, “PhD programmes are vital for the research we are conducting in Qatar as creation of new knowledge comes through advanced education. We have had some preliminary discussions with some universities on starting PhD courses in certain fields.”

He also said it was important to have partnership in different research areas and Qatar was keen to have partnership at local and international levels. As for incorporating other countries in the region in many of the researches, he said “Partnerships are vital for research initiatives. First we need to address the needs of our country and then we will look into the needs of the region and the international community.”

Source: Caye Global News, Gulf Times

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