Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) recently launched its new Innovation Space, a groundbreaking initiative designed to foster entrepreneurship and creativity, at an internal staff gathering for all HBKU employees.

The Innovation Space will serve as a platform for connecting and sharing ideas, people, resources and expertise, and will act as an incubator for novel initiatives that address critical issues.

According to HBKU president Dr Ahmad Hasnah, the Innovation Space is grounded in the university’s identity and is one of the many critical projects outlined in their ten-year strategic plan.

Across all levels, HBKU works to develop an innovative culture under which novel ideas from the HBKU community are encouraged and can thrive. The Innovation Space will play a critical and integral role in instilling this entrepreneurial mindset. Acting as a hub, for all colleges and institutes within the university and extended to partner universities and the industry, the Innovation Space will be a platform within HBKU for experimentation and creativity, fostering a culture that encourages risk-taking and does not stigmatise failure.’

Transforming Ideas into Reality

The Innovation Space is also meant to help the students, faculty and researchers transform their ideas into reality, and has substantial added value in technology transfer and commercialisation. The initiative will connect members of the HBKU community to leaders in start-up ecosystems around the globe; provide entrepreneurship-related education to the Education City community; assist local businesses and industries in developing an innovation focus; connect start-up teams with experts for mentorship and potential investors; and provide support services. The ultimate aim of the Innovation Space is to develop a steady pipeline of commercial technologies and ideas.

Innovation Space initiatives are underway and are carried out within the university and across the colleges and research institutes, as they seek to address topics in humanities, social sciences, engineering, ICT, and health and life sciences. A makerspace initiative by the College of Islamic Studies was launched recently where students were able to produce a global Islamic resolution for humanity.

Researchers at Qatar Computing Research Institute have already developed a Machine Learning Platform with many applications, currently being piloted at Qatar Airways and other local institutions. A growing number of e-platforms are in different stages of development, including the Rayyan systematic review system, which has more than 9,000 users worldwide; the Artificial Intelligence for Digital Response system, which is consistently utilised by the United Nations to monitor disaster areas across the globe; as well as the Jalees e-reader application, has proven to be beneficial to many schools in Qatar.

The HBKU Innovation Space is still in its early development stages, and is yet to reach its full-intended potential. Many of its programmes are currently in the planning stages, such as the pre-incubation programme and the idea development fund, in addition to numerous activities and events, which all aim towards creating opportunities for HBKU’s community of students, faculty, and researchers.

For more information about the Innovation Space, visit the HBKU website at hbku.edu.qa.