Alfardan Group and HBKU officials during the MoU signing event.
Doha: Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Alfardan Group to engage in strategic collaboration that advances Qatar’s technological and economic development while strengthening its innovation and entrepreneurial culture.
Cooperation under the three-year agreement will take the form of collaborative initiatives leveraging their respective expertise and networks across four focus areas. These will aim to meet their institutional missions as well as address national priorities. Joint projects will foster knowledge exchange across government, academia, and business, and the development of regionally and globally competitive digital industries.
The agreement paves the way for the creation of an innovation lab that fosters a national ecosystem for Qatar’s emerging technologies and solutions. The lab will also enhance the innovation capabilities within the Alfardan Group and serve as a space for HBKU graduate students and researchers to apply their ideas and solutions in a real-world context.
HBKU and Alfardan Group will cooperate on developing a virtual Digital Cluster, with platforms and programs aimed at improving the capabilities and competitiveness of the country’s digital entrepreneurs as well as small medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) focused on digital innovation.
A third area of focus leverages HBKU’s pioneering programs in smart sustainable energy to design renewable energy power systems and water production systems that optimize conditions in Alfardan Group greenhouses. These include developing smart sensors using the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), an area where HBKUs leads in high-impact research and technology solutions.
The agreement provides for HBKU to support the “Alfardan Academy,” with faculty and researchers sharing expertise that support the Group’s projects while exploring a pipeline to advance their own commercially viable projects.
Omar Alfardan, President and CEO of Alfardan Group, said: “HBKU strives to prepare the people of Qatar to meet the challenges of an ever-changing world, and to make Qatar a leader in innovative education and research. We hope that this partnership will serve to upscale the innovation capabilities within Alfardan Group by providing the resources needed to effectively integrate the best innovation principles into our corporate structure. Together, we can develop and implement shared objectives and real-world solutions that address national priorities. ”
Dr. Ahmad M Hasnah, HBKU President, said: “Our collaboration with the Alfardan Group will accelerate and stimulate competitive digital innovation in Qatar. It will advance state-of-the-art smart technologies while developing the capacities to transform research into innovative applied solutions. The outcomes will empower the country’s entrepreneurs to be active in the digital economy, regionally and globally. ”