Qatar Boosts Research Fund Aimed At Creating Intellectual Property Rights 26/06/2008 by Wagdy Sawahel for Intellectual Property Watch Leave a Comment Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)By Wagdy Sawahel for Intellectual Property Watch Qatar has nearly doubled its research funding in a bid to create more intellectual property rights (IPRs) and promote the commercialisation of research. In a bid to promote advanced knowledge and education at the national, regional and international levels, the grants will provide financial support to researchers in the private, public and academic realms as well as foster collaborations within academia, and through public-private partnerships, within and outside Qatar. Support will be aimed at the carrying out of original, competitively selected research in natural sciences, engineering and technology, medical and health sciences, agricultural sciences, social sciences and humanities for the benefit of the people of Qatar and the region. On 4 June, Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF), a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, launched its second cycle of the annual National Priorities Research Programme, which will spread grants over three years ranging from US$20,000 up to $350,000 per year. This year, the value of the grants is nearly double that of last year, with $45 million now available compared to $25 million last year. QNRF also will promote the participation of internationally recognised researchers by presenting the priorities research programme at selected universities in the United States and United Kingdom. “This type of activity is an excellent way of raising Qatar’s profile in the international academic community,” said Mohammed Fathy Saoud, president of the Qatar Foundation. “It is fully in keeping with Qatar Foundation’s drive to build a knowledge-based society and make Doha the intellectual capital of the region.” QNRF Director Abdul Sattar Al Taie said of the drive: “We are keen to encourage collaborative research between Qatar institutions and established research facilities abroad. The benefits are plentiful. Promoting knowledge and technology transfer in this way builds human capital. This in turn helps our institutions attract, develop and retain top faculty.” “This fund is a good step towards developing more indigenous research and development (R&D), leading to creating more IPRs which will promote technology transfer,” said Hassan Moawad Abdel Al, former president of Mubarak city for scientific research and technology applications in Egypt. This includes “the disclosure of results originating from funded projects, licensing or assignment of IPR related to such results, exchange of information, education and training as well as joint venture,” he said. “The availability of IPR protection in Qatar through the 2002 trademark and copyright laws and the 2006 patent law [pdf in Arabic] which allow registration of inventions, inventive designs, industrial models and original computer programmes, will provide the right IP environment for the new fund to promote projects for encouraging innovation and creativity leading to the advancement of knowledge for technological developments,” Abdel Al told Intellectual Property Watch. That Qatar invests some 2.8 percent of its gross domestic product for the promotion of R&D, a figure that is higher than developed nations like the US (2.7 percent), UK (1.8 percent) and France (2.2 percent) was presented as an example of technology-driven excellence in the Middle East region in the annual Global Information Technology Report [pdf] prepared by the Geneva-based World Economic Forum and French management school INSEAD and released in 9 April. In just four years, Qatar has risen to position 32 in the rankings by establishing the Supreme Council of Information Communication Technology, which has implemented an information communication technology national plan as well as initiatives in healthcare, education and infrastructures. Qatar is a member of Gulf Cooperation Treaty (GCT), WIPO Convention, Paris Convention and the Berne Convention, as well as the World Trade Organization, having implemented the WTO Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Right (TRIPS). Intellectual property matters are administered by the Industrial Property Office, which is under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Commerce. Wagdy Sawahel may be reached at email@example.com. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "Qatar Boosts Research Fund Aimed At Creating Intellectual Property Rights" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.