Qatar Foundation Research & Development (QF R&D) recently hosted a brainstorming session for local members of the Arab Expatriate Scientists (AES) Network. Over 30 local scientists, from various entities in Qatar, attended the session, which served as a platform to discuss and synthesise a new vision and goals.

The AES Network was launched in 2006, under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (QF). The Network endeavours to attract Arab scientists back to the region, and supports the QF R&D vision of positioning Qatar as a leading centre of research and development excellence and innovation.

Specially designed to explore a fresh new strategy for the Network over the coming years, a number of thematic discussions took place during the session. Among the goals discussed, the group identified innovation and entrepreneurship, human capacity building, applied R&D, and social outreach as some of the key planning areas to focus on for future growth.

Dr Hamad Al-Ibrahim, Executive Vice President of Research and Development at QF, chaired the meeting. Speaking on behalf of the AES Network, he commented: “The implementation of the AES Network has been successful through various mechanisms, including the formation of Qatar research institutes and centres in-line with the Qatar National Research Strategy. However, we still have significant progress to make in supporting the goals of the Qatar National Vision 2030 and the relocation of Arab expatriates to Qatar in support of human capacity development.”

In addition to the brainstorming session, AES members from outside Qatar will be invited to take part in the upcoming Qatar Foundation Annual Research Conference, which is being held from 22nd to 23rd March 2016, to provide their input on a new strategy. Among the invitees are scientists who have active collaborations with local scientists through research funded by the Qatar National Research Fund, a member of QF R&D.