Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) brought together members of local academia and industry professionals on 21 February for a workshop that explored the importance of close collaboration between those undertaking academic research at universities and those undertaking applied research in the commercial world.

‘Accelerating Innovation at Universities and Partnering with Industry’ was led by Dr Ikhlaq Sidhu, a member of HBKU’s Board of Trustees and Chief Scientist and Founding Director of the University of California Berkeley’s Sutardja Centre for Entrepreneurship & Technology.

Dr Sidhu has extensive experience in the fields of information systems, strategic data analytics, and mobile computing. He has successfully registered over 60 US patents and has received global recognition for his contributions to the study of innovation. Addressing the workshop’s participants, he stressed the power of collaboration:

When innovators are connected to ideas beyond the walls of their own institutions, they’re inspired to come up with next-generation products that can potentially change the business landscape. Innovation gets accelerated when those involved in the process build connections with others that are not traditionally seen as collaborators in their field.’

Dr Ahmad M Hasnah, President of HBKU, in turn, noted that ‘innovation is the cornerstone of a diversified economy’. He said that the workshop was held to promote the development of an eco-system where academics, researchers, and professionals in Qatar can engage with each other and create frameworks that promote increased collaboration.

The interactive workshop was attended by representatives of leading industry in Qatar, HBKU’s partner institutions and research funding bodies, in addition to leadership, faculty, scientists, and students from HBKU itself. With focus on research that spurs innovation at the intersection of academia and industry, some of the topics covered in the workshop include a look at where good ideas come from, intellectual property, and how to develop ideas for successful new ventures that produce outcomes that meet industrial needs. The workshop also looked at case studies that effectively illustrate how innovation has successfully been accelerated using a collaborative research approach.

To learn more about HBKU and its research institutes, visit hbku.edu.qa.