Qatar's oil and gas industry will remain strong after 2030, but will build on the knowledge economy through energy research, Qatar's energy and industry minister has said.
"As Qatar develops and diversifies its economy, the oil and gas industry will still be a significant business for Qatar by 2030," Dr Mohammad Bin Saleh Al Sada, said. "The biggest challenge the oil and gas business will be facing in the future is the need for more knowledge-based development and new technology," he told the Qatar Foundation's Second Annual Research Forum in Doha.
Dr Al Sada's speech seemed to reflect an increased focus on energy and environment research at the Annual Research Forum, where students and scientists presented projects on alternative energy solutions, water desalination and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Focusing on research as a critical component to the continued development of Qatar's oil and gas industries, the minister commended the Qatar Foundation's role in developing the country's human capital.
"This can only be achieved and maintained through continuous development of new knowledge and progressive research," he said.
"The strong commitment that the Qatar Foundation has attributed to education and research is a driving force for the future development of our nation. This commitment is translated into the creation of an impressive undertaking in the unique infrastructure and community formed by the Hamad Bin Khalifa University and Qatar Science and Technology Park."
For the minister, progress in science and research is always driven by peer discussions, the exchange of ideas and research collaboration.
"The Annual Research Forum provides an opportunity for academics to interact with industry by presenting the latest developments in innovative research."
Dr Al Sada acknowledged that Qatar's research capacity and capabilities are still in the early stages, and will continue to be so "for some years to come."
"It will not be enough to concentrate only on what needs to be done, but also on how we do it," he said on Qatar's research ramp-up.
During the forum, researchers from organisations and institutions across Qatar presented their projects to the assembled regional and international scientists, academics and industry leaders.
Many of the 47 projects in energy and 39 in environment were the result of collaboration with a range of top international institutions, including the University of Singapore, Michigan State University and the US campus of the Texas A&M University, organisers said.