Sunday, 21 October 2012

Moza for partnerships to foster research, creativity

JOSEPH VARGHESE

DOHA QATAR Foundation Chairperson Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser on Sunday called for closer partnerships to foster an environment conducive to scientific research and intellectual creativity.

Pointing out that Qatar has achieved some notable successes in this area, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser highlighted the importance of using Qatar’s natural wealth by building upon the country’s human resources and scientific knowledge.

Adressing the inaugural session of the joint Qatar Foundation Annual Research Forum and Arab Expatriate Scientists (AES) Network Symposium 2012 at the Qatar National Convention Center (QNCC) HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser also said that unsuccessful experiences in the past had cast a negative shadow on education and scientific research in the Arab world.

The opening session saw the Qatar National Research Strategy (QNRS 2012) and the Qatar National Cancer Research Strategy being unveiled.

Launching QNRS 2012, the President of Research and Development at Qatar Foundation Faisal al Suwaidi said that the Strategy aims to position Qatar as an international centre for research and development excellence and innovation and to support the goals of Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar National Development Strategy.

It aims to achieve development priorities in health, biomedicine, energy, environment, computer science, information technology, arts, behavioural, social and humanitarian sciences and Islamic studies.

The Qatar National Cancer Strategy unveiled during the opening session by Lord Ara Darzi, Chair of the Qatar National Cancer Research Committee aims to emphasise the importance of developing a programme of translatable cancer research with direct benefits for patients.

In course of her address, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser also stressed that Arab nations must work together to restore their confidence and to stand as equals with their international counterparts in the field of research and innovation.

Stressing some notable successes Qatar has already achieved in this area, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser called for closer partnerships to foster an environment conducive to scientific research and intellectual creativity.

“We have won the first round of the challenge and we feel proud of the efforts that embodied the vision and objectives of the founding conference in the establishment of Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI), Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI), Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) and Sidra Medical and Research Center.

“After winning the first round together, after passing a test of seriousness and credibility, after the return of spirit of the Arab world and after the nation’s regaining of confidence in the potential of its youth, the challenge is how to apply this dream become greater”, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser said.

HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser also noted Qatar government’s commitment to allocate 2.8 percent of the GDP to research, technology and innovation.

“Qatar Foundation is entrusted to manage the resources. This great generous financing needs investment mechanisms capable to use it in the best formulas.

Qatar’s National Strategy for Research comes to accommodate this need and to be a reference mechanism to characterise the forms of research spending”, she said.

She also said that the strategy of funding Arab research projects so far has resulted in providing more than $68 million for 78 research projects in 53 institutes in 12 Arab countries. She added that the real challenge was not limited to financial or human resources, but in confirming the nation’s commitment and credibility.

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