Innovation through R&D

 21 Jan 2018 - 11:12

The Peninsula

In its pursuit to make Qatar a leading force in the field of Research and Development (R&D) and an international hub for technology innovation, Qatar Foundation Research and Development (QF R&D) is playing a major role with excellence and innovation. Growing focus on R&D will further increase the culture of innovation in the country.

Last week, QF R&D in association with and the Ministry of Development Planning and Statistics organised a workshop to announce the findings of a survey on R&D highlighting the importance given to the sector by the country.

The survey follows the first R&D Survey of Qatar in 2012 and shows more researchers are joining the field as Qatar witnessed a 55.4 percent rise in the number of R&D personnel between 2012 and 2015. During this period, the number of R&D personnel in the country jumped from 3,038 to 4,720.

But the highlight of the survey is the quantum jump of women researchers. The number of female researchers stood at 377 in 2012 and it has gone up to 894 in 2015, showing a 137 percent rise. The female researchers have also increased their share in the total number of researchers from 21.86 percent in 2012 to 31.40 percent in 2015. The growth in the number of female researchers is also more than the rise in the number of male researchers. 

This shows how the country provides right atmosphere for people from all walks of life to enter into a field where their presence was minuscule a couple of years back.

The other interesting part is the involvement of Qatari government in the field. It is the largest funder of R&D in 2015, providing 37% of total funding, followed by research institutes with 32.6% and other national sources 28.54%. This shows the far-sightedness of the leaders and the policymakers of the country. Another interesting aspect is that 19.5% of positions within R&D in the country are held by Qataris, who account for 11% of researcher roles, 6% of support staff roles, and 3% of technician roles.

The Gross Expenditure on Research and Development (GERD) in Qatar reached QR3.1bn in 2015 and the ratio of GERD to GDP rose from 0.43% in 2012 to 0.51% in 2015. 

Such surveys are pertinent to develop an understanding of the R&D ecosystem of a country and Qatar’s commitment to innovation as a means of economic diversification makes this survey more important. 

It’s commendable that QF R&D through the Qatar National Research Strategy along with Qatar National Research Fund and Qatar Science & Technology Park, are making tremendous changes to the lives of the people of the country. It’s a matter of pride for the research community as well as the country.