Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI) under Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), recently organised the ‘QEERI Technology and Innovation 2018’, an event to inspire and lead scientists to transform their research and ideas from strategic initiatives into value-added technology solutions.

QEERIThe three-day event, which was held at the HBKU Research Complex, was joined by notable professionals in the world of innovation. Mark Crowell, whose experience ranges from working as the Vice President for Innovation and Economic Development at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), to holding the post of President for the Association of University Technology Managers, was in attendance. Other prominent guests include Dr Ian Proctor, an innovation consultant at the University of Manchester, and a former director of technology transfer at KAUST; and Dr Richard O’Kennedy, vice president of the Research, Development and Innovation Council at Qatar Foundation.

Dr Marc Vermeersch, executive director at QEERI said a culture of entrepreneurial innovation is essential to enable QEERI to reach its full potential.

By discussing topics such as innovation management, design thinking, industry engagement, entrepreneurship, and innovation-based economic development, we aim to empower our scientists to look beyond the lab and transform their ideas into real-world software and hardware solutions.’

Attendees gained an insight into the fundamentals of intellectual property rights such as patents, copyrights, confidentiality agreements, the process of documenting and disclosing inventions. The event also examined the role of inventors and researchers as part of the technology-transfer process, as well as the principles of innovation and design thinking – a platform for transitioning to a market-driven research agenda.

Crowell said that events like this are critical in raising expectation levels towards the expansive development of the local innovation culture. He said that having QEERI’s researchers together as a community will allow them to better identify their needs and develop the most suitable strategies for technology advancements.

Dr Proctor, meanwhile, added that discussions encourage scientists to think about research in new ways, to examine their obligations towards their research sponsors and stakeholders such as the institute and the community at large, encouraging them to create value to their discovery.

Dr Rachid Zaffou, technology committee chair at QEERI, explained that the event is the first in a series of initiatives organised by QEERI management to ensure that their scientists have the knowledge and mindset to innovate and approach science with an entrepreneurial mindset, which he said is key in driving ideas towards fruition in the form of value-creation.

QEERI – one of HBKU’s three national research institutes – is committed towards aiding Qatar overcome its energy and water security challenges through targeted research and strategic development.

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