Members of Qatar Foundation Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI) joined peers from across the Arab region to discuss intellectual property (IP) and knowledge transfer systems being implemented in the area during a recent expert group meeting organised by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA).
The meeting took place last month in Beirut, Lebanon, and touched on the role of IP systems in promoting innovation, competitiveness and sustainable economic development, as well as challenges facing the enforcement of IP laws in Arab countries.
John McEntire, Director for Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer at QF RDI, and Abeer Al Hammadi, Director of Innovation and Economic Development, also from QF RDI, presented the QF initiatives designed to contribute towards building an innovative ecosystem in Qatar, and the systems that are in place as part of its knowledge transfer and commercialisation activities.
Dr Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research, Development and Innovation at QF, said they are pleased to participate in the expert group meeting as it provides an impactful platform to showcase their initiatives.
The creation, protection and enforcement of IP rights is crucial to sustaining this ecosystem. In collaboration with our national stakeholders and regional peers, QF RDI will continue playing a key role in shaping and enhancing IP systems that uphold these rights through knowledge transfer and expertise exchange, for national benefit and regional impact.’
Both McEntire and Al Hammadi were involved in the development of the QF Intellectual Property and Technology Transfer (IPTT) Office – the first of its kind in Qatar. McEntire spoke at length about QF’s efforts in developing systems to protect and disseminate outcomes from the national research engine based on core aspects of patentability, marketability, ownership, and strategic fit, while Al Hammadi elaborated on the technology created out of IP, and how QF is building bridges for the development of a cohesive innovation ecosystem in Qatar.
These multi-layered efforts, both experts suggested, align with QF’s mission of fostering innovation and promoting excellence in research and development, as well as overcoming challenges.
The meeting was an opportunity for specialists from around the region to connect and exchange expertise on how to foster technology transfer, and build partnerships with various entities.’
During her presentation, Al Hammadi explained that while IP systems around the region share similar challenges, the structure of innovation ecosystems differ from one country to another – which further stresses the importance of knowledge exchange.
As an outcome of the meeting, ESCWA is also planning to release a report on IP systems, and the enforcement of IP laws in the Arab world, including focus on progress being made in Qatar. The report will highlight the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that impact the efficiency and effectiveness of these IP systems.
The two-day meeting saw participants learning from international, regional and national case studies and successful IP initiatives, where QF RDI was positioned as a role model within the region. The sessions stimulated knowledge-sharing on lessons learned, and best practices in different innovation ecosystems among Arab countries.
Benchmarking was an important aspect of the ESCWA meeting, and while there will always be competition in the tech transfer world, the group recognised that any practice that builds the innovation ecosystem in one place is helping to build the system in the region.
For updates and more information about QF RDI, visit qfrdi.org.