Vice President for Research at Qatar University (QU) Dr Hassan Al-Derham represented Qatar at the 4th International Platform on Integrating Arab e-Infrastructure in a Global Environment (e-AGE 2014), in Muscat, Oman on December 10 and 11, providing insight into the university’s research infrastructure.
He also highlighted what QU has achieved under its Qatar National Research and Education Network (QNREN), an independent, government-supported initiative based on international standards and best practices, that will serve all research and education stakeholders in Qatar.
QU President Prof Sheikha Abdulla Al-Misnad was also present at the event which was organized by the Arab States Research and Education Network (ASREN) and which drew a number of ministers, ambassadors and high-level leaders from Arab countries and Europe.
Prof Al-Misnad said it was a great opportunity for Arab states to create awareness, promote research and education collaboration and joint activities and establish human networks in order to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among researchers and academicians in the Arab region and the rest of the world.
Dr Al-Derham showcased how Qatar’s e-Infrastructure can support the needs of researchers in terms of services and applications. He said the QNREN was an important project in realizing the objectives of Qatar National Vision 2030 to boost innovation and ensure a competitive and knowledge-based economy which he said can only be achieved through relevant programs and initiatives that connect people to technologies that enrich their lives and maximize their capabilities.
“The QNREN project was initiated following the large amount of data produced by the many research projects and innovative scientific studies being undertaken in the country and it became very necessary for them to be shared among researchers in Qatar and outside,” Dr Al-Derham said.
“The broad goal of the Network is to build an independent high-speed and low-latency national resource that will allow educational institutions (universities, colleges, schools) and research institutes in Qatar to exchange data and services, and facilitate communication between universities and research institutions worldwide via dedicated international connectivity,” he added.
He further said that Qatar University was proposing that the QNREN network would have a dedicated high capacity bandwidth of 100Gbps with possibility of upgrade that would allow institutions to connect at minimum of 10Gbps with little disruption to their existing configurations.
QU will build the first node and host the Network’s operations — secondary redundant nodes can be added later at other sites such as the Meeza Qatar Data Center or other suitable hosting site, Dr Al-Derham said. He continued that, along with QU, the first entities that would be able to connect and benefit from QNREN are College of the North Atlantic Qatar and Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).
ASREN is the Association of the Arab Region National Research and Education Networks (NRENs), as well as their strategic partners that aims to implement, manage and extend sustainable Pan-Arab e-Infrastructures dedicated for the research and education communities and to boost scientific research and cooperation in member countries through the provision of world-class e-infrastructure and e-services.