Outcomes and benefits of QNRF-funded research projects presented at series of seminars
From smart technology and sustainability to the preservation of Qatari identity, Qatar Foundation-funded research that is designed to improve people’s lives and build a stronger Qatar has been brought to wider attention.
A series of Research Outcome Seminars (ROS) organized by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) have given the public an insight into how projects supported by the funding agency have been developed, and the benefit they can bring to the nation.
The seminars focused on projects in environmental sustainability; cultural heritage; and advanced analytics and next-generation technologies in the fields of health, education, and finance that help solve problems and lead to better decision-making.
The outcomes of these research projects will have a direct impact on addressing our national priorities and Qatar’s aim of developing a sustainable post-hydrocarbon society.
“We believe that it is important to showcase the outcome of the research work that is under way to the relevant beneficiaries and stakeholders from government and industries, as well as to the research community and public at large,” said Dr. Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, Executive Director, QNRF.
“The outcomes of these research projects will have a direct impact on addressing our national priorities and Qatar’s aim of developing a sustainable post-hydrocarbon society, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030.
“We are committed to streamlining research and delivering results, since we believe that good dissemination, good communication, and synergy is a key factor in overcoming challenges and achieving long term economic sustainability and prosperity.”
In the field of environmental sustainability, Qatar Foundation member QNRF – through its portfolio of programs – has provided funding to stakeholders in Qatar to support 150 research projects in areas including water, food, and energy security, climate change and its environmental impact, energy efficiency, nature, and the built environment. The ROS event focusing on this area saw QNRF-funded researchers provide an overview of research projects into the development of green building guidelines, the use of recycled materials in the construction industry, and the current and future environmental impact of water desalination plants in Qatar.
It also outlined a proposal for an “energy city”, through a model that would establish an Institute of Energy Education for teachers and increase the number of students pursuing STEM degrees in Qatar.
Every citizen must use their talents and abilities to support their country.
During another seminar titled Preserving Qatari Identity in a Globalized World – held ahead of the start of Qatar National Day celebrations – a panel session saw speakers from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, the College of Health and Social Sciences at Hamad Bin Khalifa University, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, and Qalam Hebr for Creative Writing discuss the theme of culture, identity, and heritage, and the challenges that sustaining its value and relevance present.
“There are many things for us to think about into the future, including what it means to be a Qatari,” said Dr. Houda Aouadi of the Ministry of Education and Higher Education. “It is not just about being united, but also about what you can give the country in terms of contributing to its development.
“We want to focus on the values of citizenship. We want to build an educated population that preserves heritage, identity, and values, and that respects other cultures. We want to build a strong sense of citizenship, but also nurture global citizens. And it is also necessary to focus on the Arabic language.
“Every citizen must use their talents and abilities to support their country.”
Projects discussed at the ROS in the field of cultural identity included the creation of a Qatar Historic Buildings Information Modeling platform to digitize and preserve information about the nation’s architectural heritage, and how to maintain the role of hospitality at the forefront of Qatari cultural identity.
Meanwhile, at an ROS event centered around efforts and challenges surrounding smart technology in Qatar, the audience learned about QNRF-funded projects in healthtech, edutech, information technology systems, and data analytics. Among them were the development of a drone system that enables vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure communications, with the aim of making roads safer; and a project designed to address a lack of research into how the authors of suspicious messages in Arabic can be profiled to see if they pose a cybersecurity threat.
QNRF’s recent ROS series has also included a seminar devoted to “operations research”, which applies advanced analytical methods to complex scenarios with the aim of steering a path to better decisions. The funding agency has supported projects that use this strand of research to benefit the oil, gas, and liquefied natural gas industries, the medical sector, and transport systems.
The seminars were attended by members of the local and international research community, who, through ROS, have the opportunity to pose questions to researchers who present their projects and to share ideas and methodologies, encouraging networking and opening up opportunities for collaboration.