Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Attends ‘Empowering Innovation’, a Celebration of QF’s Inventors and Innovators

Press release
Published October 15th, 2020 - 05:04 GMT
Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser Attends ‘Empowering Innovation’, a Celebration of QF’s Inventors and Innovators
Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation event highlights achievements of unique RDI ecosystem
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, today attended ‘Empowering Innovation’, a virtual event organized by the Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer (IDKT)

Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, today attended ‘Empowering Innovation’, a virtual event organized by the Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer (IDKT), a division of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI), that celebrated Qatar Foundation’s long-standing commitment to research, innovation, and entrepreneurship.

Her Highness Sheikha Moza was joined by Qatar Foundation’s (QF) senior officials and representatives of research and academic institutions from Qatar’s research, development, and innovation community.

Empowering Innovation is a two-day event showcasing QF’s excellence in RDI, recent milestones and future undertakings, as well as services offered to the industry by RDI entities in QF’s innovation ecosystem.

The event is a celebration of QF’s dedication, of the past 25 years, of driving innovation, research and entrepreneurship, fostering social development and a culture of lifelong learning, and preparing bright minds to tackle the challenges of tomorrow.

Dr. Richard O'Kennedy, Vice President of Research, Development and Innovation at Qatar Foundation, opened the event, where he outlined how the RDI landscape at QF has nurtured Qatar’s innovation ecosystem to address national priorities and provide impactful solutions to society’s many challenges.

“The Research, Development and Innovation landscape at Qatar Foundation encompasses infrastructure, talent, and policy with stakeholders spanning academia, technology, entrepreneurship, and healthcare,” Dr. O'Kennedy said. “This structure enables the efficient exchange of knowledge, skills, and techniques, which foster the development of the scientific community and economic growth.”

Day one of the event featured an awards ceremony; the unveiling of the “Wall of Innovation”; and a keynote speech by Wesley Blakeslee, IP Policy & Innovation Infrastructure expert. Blakeslee presented an overview of QF’s initiatives in policy development relating to intellectual property and entrepreneurship, and where those initiatives place QF in progressing its innovation ecosystem.

Highlighting some of the support mechanisms QF RDI has put in place to help inventors and innovators develop their ideas into marketable products, Dr. O'Kennedy outlined the features of the Innovation Coupon; the Innovation Fellowship; and Entrepreneurial Leave, as well as the Technology Venture Fund offered by Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP). He also announced that IDKT had developed a new searchable website and complementary tools in the form of guidebooks designed to assist Qatar’s community members in working with QF RDI’s researchers, inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

The guidebooks provide comprehensive information on how IDKT’s team of experts support in protecting and marketing technologies, finding partners, and licensing QF-owned intellectual property around the globe. IDKT was established to assist QF RDI to meet its part in QF’s endeavors to enhance Qatar’s innovation ecosystem, in alignment with the Qatar National Vision 2030.

Dr. O'Kennedy said: “With these initiatives, and numerous others empowering people to invent and innovate, I am confident that we will see more patents and better solutions to national and global challenges.”

Since its founding, QF has earned an increasing number of national and international patents. These successes underscore QF’s unrelenting efforts to support the development of solutions to national and global challenges, and the capability of its RDI infrastructure to develop ideas and transform them into impactful market-ready innovations. To highlight this accomplishment, Dr. O'Kennedy unveiled the Digital Wall of Innovation – a virtual showcase of close to 80 patents awarded to QF in recent years, and honoring the brilliant inventors behind them.  

The first day concluded with the awards and recognition ceremony, commending members of the QF RDI community who made invaluable contributions to QF RDI's mission to address Qatar's needs and priorities, with their breakthrough ideas and innovations.

Dr. Kareem Darwish of Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) – part of QF’s Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU); Dr. Nimir El Bashir of QF partner university Texas A&M University at Qatar; and Automatic Generation of Personas – a tool for generating user personas from gathering social media data by QCRI, were accorded the awards of Distinguished Creator of the Year 2020; Distinguished Inventor of the Year 2020; and Innovation of the Year 2020, respectively.

Dr. O’Kennedy also recognized the Key Contributors for Commercial Licensing Activity, highlighting QF staff who have played vital roles in facilitating successful licensing of inventions or creative works for commercial purposes.

Day two of the celebration will see a high-powered panel discussion tackle the importance of focusing on Technology Maturation and Commercialization activities in order to deliver more impactful results.

The panel will comprise distinguished leaders and experts from Qatar Research Development and Innovation Council, Qatar Development Bank, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Qatar National Research Fund, QSTP, HBKU, and QF RDI.

On day two, the event will close with an engaging narrative, highlighting QF’s journey into becoming the organization it is now and featuring the extensive academic resources and research institutions within its ecosystem.

Background Information

Qatar Foundation

Qatar Foundation (QF) is a non-profit organization made up of more than 50 entities working in education, research, and community development.

Our unique ecosystem—supported by partnerships with leading international institutions—is built on initiatives that address our most pressing challenges, create global opportunities, and empower people to shape our present and future.

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