Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation event highlights achievements of unique RDI ecosystem

Qatar Foundation Chair HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser attended the virtual event, ‘Empowering Innovation’, organised to celebrate Qatar Foundation’s long-standing commitment to research, innovation, and entrepreneurship. 

The event was organised by the Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer (IDKT), a division of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI).

Senior officials of Qatar Foundation, together with representatives from the country’s research and academic institutions, and RDI community also attended the event.

Empowering Innovation

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

The event is a celebration of QF’s dedication for the past 25 years, of driving innovation, research and entrepreneurship, fostering social development and promoting a culture of life-long 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 and 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 Richard O'Kennedy
Dr Richard O’Kennedy

He said that this structure enables the efficient exchange of knowledge, skills and techniques, which foster the development of the scientific community and economic growth.

Day one featured an awards ceremony, the unveiling of the ‘Wall of Innovation’ and a keynote speech by Wesley Blakeslee, IP Policy and Innovation Infrastructure expert.

Blakeslee presented an overview of Qatar Foundation initiatives in policy development related 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 and Technology Park.

He also announced the development of a new searchable website and complementary guidebooks designed to assist community members in working with QF RDI’s researchers, inventors, technologists, and entrepreneurs.

The guidebooks provide comprehensive information on how the IDKT 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 endeavours to enhance Qatar’s innovation ecosystem, aligned with Qatar National Vision 2030.

Dr O’Kennedy said that with these initiatives and numerous others empowering people to invent and innovate, he is confident that they will see more patents and better solutions to national and global challenges.

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