A joint research workshop aimed at introducing and developing innovative smart manufacturing practices in Qatar was held ahead of the launch of a joint funding call in early 2019 by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of Qatar Foundation (QF), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey – TÜBİTAK, its leading research agency.

The collaboration will see QNRF and TÜBİTAK combine their resources and insights to drive the innovation and development of new smart manufacturing technologies. The joint initiative aims to foster public-private partnerships and pool the knowledge, expertise and resources of Qatar and Turkey to address the two countries’ shared priorities.

In preparation for the joint funding call, the ‘Smart Manufacturing Workshop’ was held, where representatives from the Ministry of Transport and Communications, the Gulf Organisation for Industrial Consulting, Siemens Qatar, and the wider academic, research, and industrial community of Qatar, discussed the importance of smart manufacturing. Members of leading Turkish research institutions, industries, and universities exchanged views on matters of mutual interest with their Qatari counterparts.

Qatar Turkey workshop

The workshop addressed issues on additive manufacturing, ICT for manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, production systems, organisation, and logistics and supply chains of products. Presentations and discussions identified the need for state-of-the-art techniques, and research and innovation in advancing Qatar’s smart manufacturing infrastructure.

The bilateral agreement between QNRF and TÜBİTAK to collaborate on projects of mutual interest was established in December 2015. The inaugural theme of the partnership was cybersecurity, under which the joint funding, ‘Academia-Industry Cooperation on Cybersecurity’ was launched last year.

According to QNRF Executive Director Dr Abdul Sattar Al Taie, their collaboration with TÜBİTAK is built upon a shared commitment and belief in the importance of supporting science and technology initiatives, to strengthen and develop a lasting RDI partnership in both countries.

Smart manufacturing uses digital technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence, augmented reality, 3D printing, and the Internet of Things (IoT) to boost manufacturing and production, by reducing production cost and time. It is therefore key to improving product quality, enhancing operational efficiency and strategic growth, assuring customer retention, and increasing profitability.’

Experts who participated in the workshop explored the application of smart manufacturing practices in industries including gas, clean energy and water, polymers and petrochemicals, agriculture and food, basic materials, and biomedical devices and implants.

Addressing the workshop, TÜBİTAK Vice President Dr Orkun Hasekioğlu said their partnership with QNRF is a manifestation of the solidarity between the Turkish and Qatari governments.

There is a profound impact of science and technology on the economic and industrial development, wealth, and strength of both countries. Therefore, among many other collaborations we have with Qatar, this joint programme between QNRF and TÜBİTAK is of particular importance.’

During the workshop, Dr Munir Tag, Senior Program Manager for ICT at QNRF, outlined the role of smart manufacturing in Qatar and highlighted its importance for the nation’s society, economy, government, and industry. He said that the QNRF-TÜBİTAK collaboration will contribute significantly to strengthening Qatar’s industrial prowess and expertise in the field of manufacturing.

Call for proposals and details for submission will be announced under the ‘Thematic and Grand Challenges Research Program’ section at www.qnrf.org.