Qatar Foundation leads dialogue between Qatari and British research experts

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Qatar Foundation leads dialogue between Qatari and British research experts

London, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Thursday, October 28, 2010
  • Qatar and UK science and research experts gather at The Royal Society to discuss Qatar Foundation’s latest research initiatives
  • Discussions cover both opportunities and challenges faced by Qatar in becoming a research epicenter

“It’s not just what we are doing, it’s what we should be doing that is important," said Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development, in an appeal to top medical experts and researchers to contribute their opinions and expertise at a roundtable discussion held today at the Royal Society in London.

“There’s a fever of research in Qatar but I worry about fevers because fevers burn out. We live in an interconnected world and we must build on what we have and learn how to use the past as a tool to rekindle the confidence of our ancestors, not just as a historical reference,” continued Her Highness.

The rare dialogue, where research pioneers from the two countries shared knowledge and explored current and future partnerships, particularly in the field of biomedicine, set the stage for a long-term rapport between Qatar and the United Kingdom in the field of research.

Experts at the table paid tribute to the influence of the Arab and Muslim world on the development of Europe, and, at Her Highness’ request, also made practical suggestions for Qatar to move forward in its biomedical research strategy.

Researchers stressed that the future of medical research is in translating the results into better health services.

“I can assure everyone that there is a wealth of clinical talent and research material in Qatar and the focus now has to be leading science from bench to bedside,” said Lord Darzi, Chair of Surgery at Imperial College. “The critical importance of translational research brings tomorrow’s practical medicine.”

Commercializing research so that its benefits could be spread more widely also featured heavily in the discussion.

“Science and research have obvious benefits for individual and public well-being. The best way to encourage innovation is to encourage internationalism and commercialism, through linking medical research to science and then to commerce. The work Qatar is doing is a golden opportunity not only for Qatar but for the rest of the world,” said Lord Mandelson, former UK Business Secretary.

The roundtable demonstrated the robust partnership between Qatar Foundation and top institutions in the United Kingdom in bringing together expert minds to collaborate on pressing current problems. Present from the UK side were British Government Minister Anne Milton MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and the Rt. Hon Lord Mandelson, former Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills.

Remarks were also given to the group by Dr. Fathy Saoud, President of Qatar Foundation; Dr. Tidu Maini, Executive Chairman of Qatar Science & Technology Park and Research Advisor; Dr. Hanan Al Kuwari, Managing Director at Hamad Medical Corporation; and Sir Magdi Yacoub, FRS, Professor of Cardiothoracic Surgery at Imperial College London and Founder and Chairman of QAL Advanced Cardiovascular Network. Joining the discussion were four Qatari researchers based in the United Kingdom.

At the end of the session, Her Highness addressed the participants. ““We are all concerned about the research environment, we are all concerned about encouraging young scientists," she said. "I want to thank the Royal Society for creating the platform for today’s debate and I invite you to a forum in Doha where we can continue the dialogue and find ways to turn talk into action.”