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Monday, December 6, 2021

Sheikha Moza joins QF in marking 25-year-anniversary by recognising ’empowering innovation’


At least 80 international Qatar Foundation-supported innovations were celebrated.

Sheikha Moza bint Nasser recognised leading innovators on Wednesday in an event to mark the 25th anniversary of Qatar Foundation.

The Empowering Innovation virtual awards by Qatar Foundation’s Research, Development and Innovation [QFRDI] showcased the institution’s innovators over its nearly three decades of work as a hub to encourage innovation in the country.

“The Research, Development and Innovation landscape at Qatar Foundation encompasses infrastructure, talent, and policy with stakeholders spanning academia, technology, entrepreneurship, and healthcare,” Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President of QFRDI, and Vice President for Research, Hamad Bin Khalifa University [HBKU], a member of QF.

Over the course of two days, the event highlights QF’s innovation ecosystem by celebrating at least 80 international patents that have been granted to the institution in recent years.

Dr. O’Kennedy unveiled the ‘Digital Wall of Innovation’, which showcased all the QF-supported projects.

Organised by Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer (IDKT), the event announced that a new website and guidebooks have been designed to assist Qatar’s community members in working with QFRDI’s researchers, inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

IP Policy and Innovation Infrastructure expert Wesley Blakeslee also presented QF’s initiatives on policy development regarding intellectual property and entrepreneurship, which are crucial in the institution’s innovations ecosystem.

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Three different awards were presented to different innovators.

The recipient of the ‘Distinguished Creator of the Year’ award was Dr. Kareem Darwish of Qatar Computing Research Institute [QCRI], who specialises in information retrieval, natural language processing, and social computing.

Distinguished Inventor of the Year 2020 was awarded to gas and fuels specialist, Dr. Nimir El Bashir of QF partner university Texas A&M University at Qatar.

The Innovation of the Year 2020 award was granted to ‘Automatic Generation of Personas’, a tool for generating user personas from gathering social media data by QCRI.

Awards were also given to key contributors, including QF’s staff for Commercial Licensing Activity, which played an important role in facilitating successful licensing of inventions or creative works for commercial purposes.

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“Innovation is vital for our societies to function efficiently and absolutely necessary in achieving national and global sustainable development goals. The existing issues such as climate change, growing chronic diseases and expanding social economic disparities can’t be addressed without novel ideas and disruptive technologies,” said O’Kennedy.

QRDI has grown over the past 20 years, providing innovations that address common issues, nurturing talent, creating partnerships, and working to establish Qatar as one of the world’s most advanced innovation economies. 

The research institutions, under QF, have been particularly stepping up their efforts to address various issues while partnering with global, significant tertiary bodies including NASA and Harvard University.

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