Posted on June 21, 2011

Qatar Foundation scientists participated in the third meeting of the Global Innovation through Science and Technology (GIST) initiative at the Economic Development through Science and Technology Conference in Rabat, June 16 –17, 2011.

This milestone event of the GIST initiative, co-hosted by CRDF Global and the government of Morocco at the Academy Hassan II of Science and Technology, brought together around 200 regional experts and leaders, including researchers, entrepreneurs and investors, from more than 25 countries spanning the Middle East, North Africa and Central and South Asia.

GIST’s mission is to accelerate technology commercialization and entrepreneurship in the MENA and Asia regions through global networking, entrepreneurship skill-building, mentorship and strategic funding.

Dr. Abdelali Haoudi, Vice President for Research at Qatar Foundation and a fellow of the Moroccan Royal Academy for Science and Technology, was among the panelists at the “Creating a Favorable Innovation Environment” Track.  Dr. Haoudi gave a brief introduction to Qatar Foundation and discussed the types of internal policy changes that research and development institutions can make to create a more favorable innovation environment for researchers and scientists.

Dr. Abdelali Haoudi, Vice President for Research at Qatar Foundation

Dr. Haoudi said:

“The Rabat Conference is a great opportunity to increase participation by the academic sector in the transfer of technology into the marketplace through the development of practical knowledge and skills, as well as to heighten understanding of the value of entrepreneurship and innovation for the economic growth and sustainability.”

GIST seeks to maximize its impact globally by leveraging human and financial resources of existing innovation programs, at both national and global levels. It aims to become a platform for programs and activities designed to identify promising technologies among university inventions, assist aspiring entrepreneurs in building viable technology-based companies, facilitate market access and industry linkages, bring existing technologies to the region, and promote entrepreneurship culture.

Dr Haoudi added:

“GIST is a forum that can help researchers and engineers to strategize with private sector funders and investors to enhance and sustain their own innovation programs, balancing both economic development and global market needs.”