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EDUCATION

Imagine, invent, inspire

Creating change at Qatar’s science centres

To address the challenges facing the region, many science initiatives have been enacted across Qatar to combat different issues. Qatar Foundation, Qatar University and Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar each have institutes that develop research and find solutions to some of the local and regional problems that face us today. Here is a list of the country’s current scientific initiatives.

1.

Environmental Science Centre in Qatar University (ESC)

Established in 1980

MISSION:
Qatar has a rich marine cultural heritage and a biodiverse environment. The mission of the ESC is to understand and protect this precious natural resource for the benefit of the Qatari people

website: esc.qu.edu.qa

Established in 1980, ESC focuses on marine, atmospheric and earth science research. It has been divided into several clusters to focus on various research projects in the mentioned fields, including the Marine Science Cluster, which includes Physical and Chemical Oceanography, Marine Biology, the Atmospheric Science Cluster and the Earth and Terrestrial Science Cluster. Each one of these clusters is run by a science leader, supporting research coordinators and laboratory assistants. All of this research fulfills the Qatar 2030 Vision objective that promises sustainability and social development. The ESC has many partners and collaborators both regionally and internationally that aid in the research process. They also have a class-leading research vessel called the RV Janan, which is used for missions regarding marine and atmospheric research in the region.

2.

Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute (QEERI)

Established in 1980

Vision:
To be the leader in Qatar in the fields of environment and energy, and become the science and technology reference in these fields at national, regional and international levels

website: hbku.edu.qa

Equipped with world class facilities that include a Core Labs, Micro- and Nano- Fabrication Labs, and a 35,000 square metre Outdoor Test Facility, QEERI is an impressive institute. Established in 2013, QEERI addresses some of the long-term challenges facing the nation in regards to energy and water consumption. In the process, the institute is attempting to find solutions that target climate change for a more sustainable future and aims to achieve this through creating more energy efficiency and decreasing water consumption.

3.

Qatar Biomedical Research Institute (QBRI)

Established in 2012

Mission:
QBRI is engaged in basic and applied medical research that strongly supports the translation of novel scientific discoveries into more efficient therapies and better preventative strategies for human diseases, ultimately leading to the development of personalised medicine

website: hbku.edu.qa

The QBRI falls under the Hamad Bin Khalifa University and focuses on developing innovation in the healthcare sector by providing solutions to problems facing the community. Research is carried out through collaborations with regional and global partners, such as Qatar University, Sidra Medicine, Oregon Health and Science University. The institute is equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and laboratories that further drive innovation and research in Qatar. Some of the research they focus on revolves around neurological disorders, cancer and diabetes. Each of these falls under a specialized research centre:

The Neurological Disorders Centre: Launched in 2015, this centre carries out research on prevalent disorders in Qatar like autism spectrum disorder (ASD), intellectual disability (ID), and epilepsy, as well as studies on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease.

The Diabetes Research Centre: Diabetes is one of the main health challenges facing the Qatari population so this centre was created in order to promote innovation for Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes and other related metabolic diseases. One of the main objectives of the centre is to create a deeper understanding of the social, molecular and genetic causes of diabetes to help and find better treatments for the patients.

The Cancer Research Centre: Studies have shown that the most common cancer among females globally is breast cancer, and Arab women are more likely to experience a more aggressive form of breast cancer. This centre focuses on doing research which further examines the cellular and molecular basis of cancer development.

4.

Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI)

Established in 2010

MISSION:
Our mission is to conduct innovative, multidisciplinary applied computing research that addresses national priorities by enhancing the quality of life for citizens, enabling broader scientific discoveries and making local businesses more competitive globally

website: hbku.edu.qa

Founded in 2010, QCRI also operates under HBKU and focuses on addressing the challenges facing the local and regional society in regards to computers by conducting research and developing computing technology to fit the society’s needs. They are also focusing on developing Qatar’s technology capacity. Some of the research being carried out revolves around the Arabic language technologies, data analytics, cyber security and social computing. Similar to other initiatives, QCRI works collaboratively with other institutes and universities in the country and internationally to help advance its projects.

5.

Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP)

MISSION:
At Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP), we believe that anything is possible when the best ideas are given opportunities to deliver impact. It is this belief that led us to create a fully fledged platform for conceiving and growing tech enterprises in Qatar

website: qstp.org.qa

Through the Research, Development, and Innovation (RDI) ecosystem from Qatar Foundation, QSTP is a facility that helps upcoming tech companies and ventures. It focuses on innovation in these following fields: energy, environment, health sciences, and information and communication technologies. They offer acceleration, incubation and funding programmes for promising projects and act as a free zone/ business park for global tech companies. They aim to develop the technology scene in Qatar, which falls under Qatar’s plan to be on the forefront of technological and scientific research in the region, and the world.

6.

The Social and Economic Survey Institute (SESRI)

Established in 2008

Mission:
To achieve the QU vision, SESRI seeks to contribute to national development and support decision-makers at the national level through empirical research
and high-quality surveys data

website: sesri.qu.edu.qa

The SESRI is a social scientific research institute that falls under Qatar University. Its aim is to conduct research and gather data that will help in the formation of policy, priority setting, and future planning concerning the local and regional society. Established in 2008, this institute has focused on topics concerning labour and employment, education, health, family structure, media impact and modernisation and shifts of social values. The institute carries out reliable research through its employment of qualified researchers of various interests and collaborating with other research institutes to further develop the projects and scope. Alongside doing research, SESRI also holds training sessions for researchers, faculty members and students. The level of training sessions varies from beginner to intermediate level and is taught by SESRI faculty and the University of Michigan’s Institute of Survey Research team.

7.

Institute for Population Health (IPH)

Established in 2001

mission:

  • To provide the finest education possible for medical students
  • To conduct research at the cutting edge of knowledge
  • To improve health care both now and for future generations
  • To provide the highest quality of care to the community

website: qatar-weill.cornell.edu

The IPH falls under Weill Cornell Medicine-Qatar and focuses on understanding the health of the population and bettering the health system in the country. The healthcare industry is globally evolving, this is because healthcare priorities continue to develop and change over time. Some of the increasing issues include mental health issues, non-communicable diseases, lack of access to basic healthcare and recently the changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. This is why collaborating with experts in multidisciplinary fields is important in achieving positive health outcomes. The initiatives for this institute are categorised into three areas; education, research and community. In regards to education, the institute offers courses to better understand population health and includes programmes like Understanding the Basics of Health Research, Mastering Emotional Intelligence and Cultural Competence in Healthcare Workforce. For research, IPH aims for an evidence-based approach in health-related research that can benefit the community. Finally, the community is where IPH aims to promote a healthier lifestyle and educate people about disease and injury prevention through outreach programmes.

Photos: Qatar Science & Technology Park/Facebook, 1 – Environmental Science Center/Facebook, 2-3-4 – Qatar Foundation, 5 – Qatar Science & Technology Park/Facebook, 6 – Social & Economic Survey Research Institute/Facebook, 7 – Institute for Population Health/Facebbok