Since its establishment in 1995, Qatar Foundation (QF) has been dedicated to encouraging a culture of innovation and creativity in order to fulfill its overarching mission of unlocking human potential.
Over the last 20 years, the organization has established centers and joint ventures across its core areas of education, science and research, and community development. Today, there are more than 50 QF entities working together to support the Qatar National Vision 2030 (QNV2030) of transforming the nation from a hydrocarbon- to a knowledge-based economy.
It is through the Foundation’s education and research initiatives that QF is leading the human, social, and economic development of Qatar. Indeed, to date, over 2,500 students have graduated from QF’s partner universities, and are working across a variety of public and private sector fields, including oil and gas, engineering, technology, communications, construction and finance as well as education and science.
Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) leads the science and research mission across the four research priority areas determined by the Qatar National Research Strategy launched in 2012. The aim of the Strategy is to transform Qatar into a leading center for research and development excellence and innovation, and the four tracks include Energy and Environment; Computing and Information Technology; Health; and Social Sciences, Arts and Humanities.
Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of QF R&D, is a center tasked with fostering original, competitively selected research and has funded over 35 local entities undertaking research and more than 500 research entities from 50 different countries. It completed some 236 research projects in 2014. In total, QNRF funds 10 programs which cater to researchers.
The final stage of the process is commercialization which is facilitated by Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). As a free-zone, it serves as an incubator for start-up businesses and entrepreneurs that encourage companies and institutes from around the world to develop and commercialize their solutions in Qatar. Last year, one corporate research project was commercialized, and three-start-up companies were established.
Alongside Qatar Foundation’s pioneering education and science and research programs, the organization is also committed to building strong, sustainable communities.
An example of this commitment is Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar’s ‘Sahtak Awalan; Your Health First’. The five-year campaign, launched in 2012 in association with the Supreme Council of Health, aims to educate members of the community on the importance of healthy lifestyles, and lower the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease.
Also demonstrating QF’s commitment to the creation of a healthy and contented society is Qatar Biobank for Medical Research. The center is working alongside the Supreme Council of Health, Hamad Medical Corporation and scientists from Imperial College London to enable vital medical research on prevalent health issues in Qatar by collecting samples and information about the health and lifestyles of large numbers of Qatar’s population. The results from its two-year pilot stage were recently released.
As testament to QF’s innovation on renewables and energy efficiency, the organization will produce up to 85 percent of Qatar’s total solar energy.
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