Posted on September 18, 2014

An agreement signed yesterday between Qatar University (QU) and Thales established the Thales Professorial Chair in Cyber and Computing Security (CCS) at QU. The Chair will be housed in College of Engineering (CENG) Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) department.

The agreement was signed by QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad, and  Thales Vice President Cybersecurity Technologies & Solutions Mr Pierre Jeanne, in front of an audience that comprised QU VP and Chief Academic Officer Dr Mazen Hasna, French Ambassador to Qatar H.E. Mr Eric Chevallier, CENG Dean Dr Rashid Alammari, and several officials from QU, CENG, Thales, French Embassy, and ictQATAR, along with representatives from leading information and communication organizations in Qatar.

The new agreement reinforces the MoU that was signed between the two organizations in November 2013 to provide opportunities for Qatari students’ training on new and emerging technologies in the field of cybersecurity.  Its aim is to establish cooperation between the academic environment and industry on information systems and data security and related associated services.  It is also targeted to contribute to Qatar’s development in the information and communications technologies, and to its ambitions towards a knowledge-based economy.

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The chair position will benefit students of CENG Electrical Engineering and Computer Science departments.  Students will gain opportunities for practical experience in research and development at QU and at Thales’ office in Qatar Science Technology Park (QSTP). In the terms of the agreement, both parties will cooperate to provide research and consulting activities, develop tailored training programs, and engage in CCS-related activities. Dr Alammari said: “This agreement to establish a new chair represents the spirit of cooperation between academia and industry and the commitment of both to graduate highly professional engineers in various disciplines. We are proud of this partnership which will add great value to education and research at QU and which will advance CENG students’ skills and capabilities to match labor market needs”.

Ambassador Chevallier said: “I welcome very warmly this Cybersecurity Chair Agreement between Qatar University and Thales. This partnership is a new milestone in the development of the links between Qatar and France in the field of education that I am strongly committed to strengthening”.

Mr Jeanne said: “In November last year we made a commitment to help develop Qatari professionals in the field of emerging technologies and cybersecurity by partnering with Qatar University. The results of our promise are now coming to fruition and the collaboration will help both parties learn from each other to develop solutions that will protect Qatar’s networks from cybercrime. Thales is proud to support Qatar’s efforts, especially those of Qatar University to meet the challenge of cyber-security that constitutes one of the priorities for the country”.

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