A delegation from Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) participated in the “international partnerships in scientific research” conference held by the Ministry of Education at its headquarters in Riyadh, on Monday and Tuesday, Sha’baan 7 and 8, corresponding to this April 23 and 24. The Ministry of Education is organizing this conference in order to implement its initiative for supporting international partnerships in scientific research. This initiative is one of 24 the Ministry is working on launching until 2020. The conference is attended by many faculty members and officials from Saudi universities together with a number of researchers from foreign universities and research entities.
The participation by the University’s delegation comes for an introduction and in order to discuss potential research alliances in subjects of interest to the KSA. Among those subjects are mass gathering management; environment conservation; studies on petroleum, petrochemicals, and cyber security; other. After the conference, the Ministry will launch research scholarships in partnership between Saudi universities and foreign universities for the purpose of studying such issues of national interest in addition to a number of major national challenges that were defined as follows: (1) Controlling mass gatherings and crowd movement, and an automatic system for direction, guidance, and warning; (2) handling infectious diseases in terms of discovery, prevention of spread, treatment, and immunization; (3) increasing the production of water through desalination by 50 percent; (4) increasing the KSA’s production of renewable energy to account for 4 percent of the total energy produced in the Kingdom.
The University’s participation in this conference was patronized by His Excellency Prof. Abdullah Bafail, UQU President; His Excellency Dr. Thamer Al-Harbi, UQU Vice President for Graduate Studies and Scientific Research; and His Excellency Dr. Hani Ghazi, UQU Vice President for Innovation and Entrepreneurship.
Moreover, Wadi Makkah Company participated in the accompanying exhibition that presents some of the University’s output from scientific research that was successfully converted into startup companies.
Furthermore, the Deanship of Scientific Research participated in the scientific committee of the conference. It also arranged for the attendance of a delegation from the University to represent researchers in the topics discussed at the conference. This is in pursuit of offering the biggest opportunity possible for researchers to obtain research scholarships from the Ministry in order to conduct research in cooperation with local and foreign universities. In this context, the Deanship of Scientific Research had sent an email to the official university emails of all faculty members at the University, inviting them to attend a workshop on this conference. The workshop explained the goals of the conference and the mechanism for participating. Besides, the Deanship requested those interested to register on the website of the conference in order to make arrangements for their attendance. That is because attendance is limited to the invitations issued by the organizers of the conference after screening the CVs of applicants.
It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Education – God willing – will soon launch an invitation to submit research proposals on the topics of the conference. Application is open to all faculty members at government universities as main researchers. Associate researchers from local entities or universities are allowed to participate, in addition to at least one researcher from foreign universities or entities, whether they attended the conference or were not invited to attend. Details will be announced later by the Research and Development Office at the Ministry, and will be sent by the Deanship of Scientific Research to all faculty members via their official university emails once available – God willing.
A number of national universities and some entities that have research centers like King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology; Aramco; and SABIC participated in the exhibition.