Welcome to this 16th edition of the QNRF Newsletter
My theme for this issue’s Director’s Message is – innovation!
No one can deny that QNRF is passionate about research and its relation to innovation as it sits at the core of QNRF’s most sought impact. However innovation requires out-of-the-box thinking – and, naturally, this leads to out-of-the-box doing.
QNRF’s integrated approach to the organizational funding structure, from support at the research site itself, right through to QF R&D’s IP protection and patenting system, proof-of-concept and ultimately, commercialization via Qatar Science and Technology Park’s (QSTP) all draw on innovative thinking, allowing you to move towards the knowledge-based economy with confidence. This is why I’d like to take this opportunity to offer a broader perspective of the development paths as offered by QF R&D, which can guide your innovative ideas to the next step, offering you the support necessary to get your idea to market. After all, innovation is not worth much if we cannot capture the value that has been painstakingly created by our researchers. You can find out more about how QF R&D can help you to protect your valuable research here, when Erik Stenehjem, Executive Director of Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer Office, reveals the what support is available and how you can access it in an extensive interview here.
To this end QNRF has helped to launch two funding opportunities for those with entrepreneurial tendencies, notably the “Qatar Innovation Promotion Award” - or QIPA - and the “Challenge 22”. QIPA is now in the good hands of QSTP, an integral part of Qatar’s innovation and incubation engine, whereas “Challenge 22” is the initiative by the Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy (SCDL) who are in charge of all initiatives and projects pertaining to the 2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™. I hope that both of these funding programs will generate forces of inertia great enough to introduce a culture of innovation, because, ultimately, that’s what drives and sustains progress in any society. You can find out much more about these two “out-of-the-box” solutions by visiting www.qnrf.org and looking at “Funding” and then “Special Programs”.
A number of QNRF-funded key investigators and some panelists from the stakeholders recently gathered at QNRF’s fourth Research Outcome Seminar (ROS) held in Education City, Doha and focusing on research in the area of education. They were given the stage by QNRF to tell how and why they carried out their research and what they found and some very interesting points were made about the future of education and I invite you to read more about it here.
QNRF also took a glimpse into the near future of research as it hosted not only the Secondary School Research Outcome Experience Programs (SSREP) fourth annual competition but also the seventh annual Undergraduate Research Experience Program (UREP) competition. Both programs represent the training, education and “hands-on” experience that QNRF encourages in young, budding scientists, and I’m pleased to say that you can read more about both here.
I am very proud to be able to tell you that 2015 is Qatar Foundation’s 20th anniversary! QNRF, of course, has only been around since 2006 but, nevertheless, we have grown from humble beginnings to become a critical component of the Foundation. Whilst we have developed a proven track-record of doing what we say we’re going to do, more importantly, QNRF is providing you with the funds to conduct state-of-the art research as well as giving you the tools to harness your own creativity and we continue to encourage you to translate innovation into action, enroute to the ultimate goal of commercialization.
Finally, I would like to prompt our research audience about the upcoming seventh QNRF Annual Research Forum which will be held on Tuesday, May 12th when we will be announcing the outcome of the 8th cycle of the NPRP. For our part, we will do our best to stream the event live over the internet via our website on that day. Stay tuned to our website!
I look forward to talking to you in the next issue of QNRF newsletter.
Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie
Qatar National Research Fund