Almost 100 entities provide vital data for in-depth overview of Qatar’s R&D inputs

Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) and the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics (MDPS) jointly organised a workshop on the findings of the Research and Development Survey of Qatar recently at the Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC).

Representatives from entities and agencies involved in research and development, including higher education, business, and government sectors, participated in the workshop, which outlined the data collated through the survey.

The survey, which focused on research and development inputs in 2015, follows the first Research and Development Survey of Qatar in 2012, which provided information about Qatar’s R&D inputs.

As the key advocate for research, development, and innovation in Qatar, and the focal point for consolidating R&D efforts across different sectors, QF R&D played a pivotal role in the success of the survey, with the number of participants increasing from the 2012 survey.

Key Findings

  • An increase in Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) in proportion to Qatar’s overall GDP
  • Applied research, concerning the practical application of science, accounted for 57% of the total expenditure
  • More than two-thirds of GERD are being directed to the higher education sector
  • Engineering and Technology are two fields receiving the most funding.

The survey also revealed that Qataris hold almost 20% of research and development positions in Qatar, including 11% of researcher roles, among a total R&D workforce of 4,720.

Dr Frans Van Den Boom, Executive Director for Policy, Planning, and Evaluation at QF R&D said they were delighted to have partnered with the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics on the survey. He said that the findings are immensely valuable in assessing where Qatar’s research and development effort stands, and in defining its future strategy.

The second edition of this survey has been a truly collaborative effort, engaging R&D stakeholders across all sectors who have recognised the importance of such combined information, analyses, and insight, and whose support has been instrumental to the success of this exercise.’

Nada Al-Olaqi, Business Planning and Performance Manager of PPE, said that the comprehensive and wide-ranging nature of the survey, and the extent of participation across the nation’s research and development community, has made it the first true baseline analysis of Qatar’s R&D inputs – from investment levels to workforce numbers and demographics.

It enhances understanding, visibility, and our capacity to further develop a research and development ecosystem that generates impact for Qatar. The findings will be essential to assessing our nation’s R&D performance and supporting our leaders and policy-makers in identifying areas that require strategic focus and action, while also enabling Qatar’s R&D efforts to be benchmarked against those of other nations.’

The survey was conducted following a Memorandum of Understanding between MDPS and QF R&D in March 2016. Mohammed Al-Muhannadi, Director of the Department of Population and Social Statistics at MDPS, said that research and development is fundamental to Qatar as it successfully transitions to a sustainable, diversified economy.

With such investment comes the imperative to identify, analyse, and understand the extent and nature of Qatar’s R&D inputs, and we hope that the findings of this survey will provide valuable insight and bring great benefit to Qatar’s R&D community, stakeholders, and policymakers. We extend our gratitude to all participants in this survey, whose diligence, engagement, and expertise has made the collation of such vital data possible.’

Future surveys are expected to have an expanded scope, also focusing on R&D outputs, outcomes, and impact, as well as innovation. The joint workshop also emphasised the importance of conducting an innovation survey in Qatar across all sectors.