Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF
Qatar National Research Fund has committed funds, amounting to $363million over the past five years, representing only a modest portion of the 2.8 percent of Qatar’s GDP allocated to research annually, which clearly confirms the strong sense of dedication and foresight on the part of His Highness Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. Their aim is to encourage and advance research in all sectors, thus raising Qatar’s reputation as a knowledge hub and laying the firm foundation of the knowledge economy specifically outlined in Qatar’s Vision 2030.
Although they can only offer a snapshot of the vast impact of QNRF, the features in this newsletter offer concrete examples of the efforts made over the past five years.
In this current 5th cycle, our flagship funding vehicle, the National Priorities Research Program, drew 1,460 letters of intent in this current, fifth cycle which materialized into more than 780 full proposals that are now in the screening stage prior to peer review, with awards to be announced this spring.
Planting the seeds of hands-on learning in Qatar’s youth, our Secondary School Research Experience Program, which rewards the research of outstanding secondary school students across the nation, has released the results of its second cycle—highlights being a 55 percent increase in proposals submitted and a significant drop in the number rejected.
On a different front, the Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum saw a meeting of minds from the full range of academic institutions across Doha and abroad. I was honored to represent QNRF and share historic highlights, insights and achievements with the research community and invite you to read my presentation here:
Through an in-depth look at the methods and findings of several studies highlighted in this issue, I encourage you to discover the unique and dynamic research engine that QNRF has become. I’m delighted and continuously impressed by the growth of the exceptional research community based here, in Qatar, which is now beginning to produce competitive, world-class knowledge. Just as the world is changing with the continued advancement of our understanding through research, so too is our organization as we adapt, collaborate and continue to branch out internationally from our strong roots in Qatar.
Finally, on behalf of everyone at QNRF, I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one you a prosperous and happy 2012, and I look forward to tackling, together, the new challenges that lie ahead.
Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie
Qatar National Research Fund