Funding Call Unites Qatar and Turkey in Strengthening Cyber-Resilience Through Innovation

International research collaborations aimed at developing innovative solutions to Qatar’s cybersecurity challenges are to be formed through a joint funding call launched by Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) and Turkey’s leading research agency.

The programme – designed to foster public-private sector partnerships and to maximise the impact of research and innovation they produce – has been developed by QNRF, part of Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D), and the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TÜBİTAK). It aims to pool knowledge, expertise, and resources in tackling both nations’ shared cyber-safety priorities.

The joint funding call, ‘Academia-Industry Cooperation on Cybersecurity’, was launched at the Qatar National Convention Centre recently, where representatives from the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Transport and Communications highlighted the strategic importance of cybersecurity, the need for wider awareness and state-of-the-art techniques to address the challenges it poses, and the role of research and innovation in safeguarding Qatar’s cyberspace and critical infrastructure.

Developed following a December 2015 bilateral agreement between QNRF and TÜBİTAK to collaborate on projects of mutual interest, the call will address three key cybersecurity themes: cloud and big data security, security systems in mobile devices and applications, and critical infrastructure security. All projects will involve collaboration between a research institute or university, and a commercial company or research end-user, from each country, with the aim of laying the foundations for enduring research and innovation ties between Qatar and Turkey.

Dr Hamad Al-Ibrahim, Executive Vice President at QF R&D said the cooperation between QNRF and TÜBİTAK will focus first on cybersecurity challenges that Qatar and Turkey share.

But this is just the beginning. It will ultimately extend into other areas of collaboration designed to address both nations’ strategic priorities.

It will demonstrate how cross-sectoral partnerships involving all research and development stakeholders can increase the impact and benefit of science and innovation. And, for both Qatar and Turkey, it will open up new avenues for research and innovation that brings value to our economies and tangible benefit to our societies.’

Awarded projects under the ‘Academia-Industry Cooperation on Cybersecurity’ call will be announced in March 2018, with those comprising a software and hardware element being funded for three years, and software-only projects receiving funding for two years.

Dr Abdul Sattar Al-Taie, QNRF Executive Director said that international and regional collaboration is important because the challenges that research and innovation seeks to address are global, requiring joint effort and sharing of knowledge and expertise to generate holistic solutions, competitiveness, and impact.

TÜBİTAK Vice President Dr Orkun Hasekioğlu said now is the time to foster collaborations involving academia, industry, and government at international level, in the awareness that today’s multi-dimensional problems require a multi-dimensional approach.

I expect that this joint call between QNRF and TÜBİTAK will constitute the beginning of many other significant, high-impact partnerships in science and technology between Qatar and Turkey. In future calls, we are planning to expand the programme, both in magnitude and scope.’

Qatar-based lead investigators should submit proposals to QNRF at Deadline for submission is on 8 January 2018. For more information, check out the ‘Thematic and Grand Challenges Research Program’ section on