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Qatar Foundation logo
Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development (Arabic: مؤسسة قطر ) is a semi-private chartered, non-profit organization in the state of Qatar, founded in 1995 by decree of Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Emir of Qatar. In addition to private funding it is government-supported and in some parts government-funded by the government of Qatar. Qatar foundation is chaired by Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned. Its aim is to "support Qatar on its journey from a carbon economy to a knowledge economy by unlocking human potential".
Qatar Foundation carries out its mission by focusing on three pillars—education, science and research, and community development. Its work in the education field has brought a number of international universities to Qatar to help develop an education sector in which young people can develop the attitudes and skills required for a knowledge economy. Its main science and research agenda is to build Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercializing solutions through key sciences. The community development programs aim to help foster a progressive society, while also enhancing the cultural landscape, protecting Qatar's heritage, and addressing immediate social needs in the community.
Joint venture partnerships in the areas of design, information and communication technologies, telecommunications, policy studies, and event management also contribute to fulfilling the objectives of Qatar Foundation.
In primary and secondary education, Qatar Foundation has several efforts:
- Qatar Academy and Qatar Academy Al Khor are K-12 schools that offer international and comprehensive academic programs.
- The Academic Bridge Program is a post-secondary school program that helps students transition from high school to university.
- Awsaj Institute of Education is an educational program providing assistance and interventions to students who experience academic difficulties.
- Qatar Leadership Academy is a partnership between Qatar Foundation and Qatar's Armed Forces, which aims to encourage not only the academic but also the athletic, social, and character development of its students.
- 1998 – Virginia Commonwealth University, programs in art and design
- 2002 – Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar opened, offering a two-year pre-medical Program and a four-year medical program leading to an MD
- 2003 – Texas A&M University at Qatar opened, offering programs in chemical, electrical, petroleum, and mechanical engineering
- 2004 – Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar opened, offering programs in computer science, business, and information systems
- 2005 – Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar opened, offering programs in international affairs
- 2008 – Northwestern University in Qatar opened, offering programs in journalism and communications
- 2011 – HEC Paris executive education programs for mid-career and senior executives
- 2011 – University College London Qatar opened, offering postgraduate qualifications in museum studies, conservation, and archaeology in partnership with Qatar Museums Authority.
These international establishments sit alongside the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies which began its first graduate classes in the 2007-2008 academic year. An international center for Islamic thinking and dialogue, it aims to produce scholars who are grounded in Islamic faith, practice and civilization. It offers masters degrees in Islamic finance, contemporary Islamic studies, and Islamic public policy.
Roughly half of these universities' students are Qatari. Around 90 different nationalities are represented by the students, faculty and staff at Education City.
As part of Qatar Foundation's efforts in education, it sponsors the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), a global forum that brings together education stakeholders, opinion leaders and decision makers from all over the world to discuss educational issues. The summit has been held in Doha since 2009:
- The first edition from November 16th to 18th 2009
- The second from December 7th to 9th 2010.
- The third edition from November 1st to 3rd 2011, during which the first $500,000 WISE Prize for Education was awarded to Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, Founder and Chairman of BRAC.
- The fourth edition from November 13th to 15th 2012
- the fifth edition from October 29th to 31th 2013
Science and research 
Qatar Foundation's main aim in this field is to help build Qatar's innovation and technology capacity by developing and commercializing solutions in key sciences. It is also developing a research strategy built on complementing Qatar-based research efforts with expertise from abroad, to build networks that provide home-grown solutions for Qatar and the region.
A research division was established at Qatar Foundation in 2007 to manage developing a scientific community in Qatar. It has hosted several international conferences in the fields of biotechnology, nanotechnology, and stem cell research.
Qatar Foundation's science and research projects include:
- Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF) funds and supports original, competitively selected research by both local and international researchers for projects that fit with Qatar's national research strategy, and that incorporate a Qatar-based partner.
- Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) is a research and development hub and Qatar’s first free-trade zone, and was inaugurated in March 2009. Over $300 million has been invested to create a world-class facility. Tenants include: ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Total, Rolls-Royce, EADS, and Microsoft
- Qatar Biomedical Research Institute
- Qatar Environmental and Energy Research Institute
- Qatar Computing Research Institute (Arabic: معهد قطر لبحوث الكمبيوتر ) (QCRI) which conducts world-class, multidisciplinary, applied computing research that is relevant to the needs of Qatar, the wider Arab region and the world, leveraging Qatar’s unique historical, linguistic, and cultural heritage
- Sidra Medical and Research Center, a new academic health science center endowed with $7.9 billion, due to open in 2012. Sidra will encompass clinical care, medical education, and biomedical research.
Other science and research initiatives include:
- RAND Qatar Policy Institute – analysis of public policy problems and helps implement long-term solutions for clients across the region
- Qatar Science Leadership Program – develops Qatari science graduates to become future research leaders by arranging internships
- University research programs - the majority of the universities on the Qatar Foundation campus run their own research programs, often collaborating with QF's own applied research bodies to bring new ideas to commercialization
- QF research programs - in addition to the university programs, QF has formed international partnerships, including with the Royal Society and the James Baker Institute for Public Policy at Rice University
- Distinguished Lecture Series – introduces Qatari students, researchers, and the public to world-class science and scientists
- Qscience.com – publishes high-quality, open-access, peer-reviewed research articles
- Stars of Science – a reality TV show featuring young Arab innovators who compete to transform their ideas to marketable products
In June 2011 Qatar Foundation hosted the seventh World Conference of Science Journalists, which had been scheduled to be held in Cairo but was moved to Doha as a result of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution.
Community development 
Qatar Foundation's community development initiatives fall into three categories:
- Fostering a progressive society
- Enhancing our cultural life and protecting Qatar’s heritage
- Addressing the community's immediate social needs
Fostering a progressive society appropriate to the knowledge economy:
- The Doha Debates filmed at Education City and broadcast by BBC World News
- Lakom Al Karar ("the decision is yours") – a nationally televised discussion program with politicians
- QatarDebate – debate workshops and competitions to raise the standards of open discussion among Qatari students (it hosted the World Schools Debating Championship in 2010)
- Qatar Career Fair – annual event showcasing the range of career options available to Qatari students and graduates
Enhancing cultural life and protecting Qatar's heritage:
- Al Jazeera Children's Channel is part of Qatar Foundation and is broadcast from Education City along with Baraem, the Arabic channel aimed at preschoolers
- Al shaqab – equine education resource centre. Among its many equestrian amenities are a riding academy, an endurance training complex, and a centre for the breeding and showing of world-class Arabian horses
- Arab and Islamic Heritage Library holds a prized collection of books, periodicals, manuscripts, maps, and scientific instruments dating back to the 15th century
- Mathaf - the Arab Museum of Modern Art was opened in 2010 in association with Qatar Museum Authority and is host to exhibitions, programs and events that explore and celebrate art by Arab artists
- Msheireb – commercial development south of the Diwan area, showcasing best practice architecture in rebuilding a new heart for the city. This project, originally called "Heart of Doha" was renamed "Msheireb" in reference to the historical name of the area.
- Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra – established in 2008, it consists of 101 musicians and aims to enhance musical culture in Qatar
Addressing immediate social needs in the community:
- Reach Out To Asia (ROTA) – charity initiative focused on assisting community development projects in Asian countries. It has responded to crises in places such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Lebanon, and Gaza.
- Qatar Diabetes Association – offers programs and services to people coping with diabetes, a prominent problem in the Middle East.
- Social Development Center runs targeted community programs to help Qatari families achieve self-reliance. It promotes the building of stable and self-sufficient families by offering workplace training and engendering a positive work ethic in low-income families, women, and young people.
- The Doha International Institute for Family Studies and Development – conducts research and promotes scholarship on the legal, sociological, and scientific basis of the natural family as the fundamental unit of society.
Joint ventures 
A need for certain specialized skills has been identified within Qatar's economy. While Qatar Foundation can procure services from outside the region to meet short-term needs, it believes that the future lies in building local expertise so that Qatar can achieve sustainability.
Qatar Foundation has therefore established a number of commercial joint ventures with global partners. Profits generated are shared by both parties, with Qatar Foundation's share being ploughed back into its core nonprofit activities.
- Fitch Qatar is a joint venture design company that creates brands and develops corporate identities for businesses and other organizations.
- Qatar MICE Development Institute (QMDI) is a joint venture with Singex Global to manage conferences, conventions, and other events.
- Qatar National Convention Centre was inaugurated in December 2011. It provides convention facilities including a 2,300-seat auditorium.
- Vodafone Qatar the second mobile operator in Qatar launched March 2009.
- MEEZA is an IT service provider catering to businesses.
- Qatar Solar Technologies (QSTec) is building a production plant in Ras Laffan Industrial City that will produce an initial 4,000 metric tons of polysilicon every year.
- Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing publishes books in Arabic and English to promote literacy culture throughout the region.
- Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Journals is an open access peer review academic publisher that will make research from the region available to the rest of the world.
On 10 December 2010 FC Barcelona announced it had agreed a shirt sponsorship deal with the Qatar Foundation worth up to €170 million over 5 years, ending Barcelona's tradition of not accepting payment for sponsors displayed on their jersey.
See also 
- "2010 Human Rights Report: Qatar". State.gov. 2011-04-08. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- "About Qatar Foundation | Qatar Foundation - Unlocking human potential". Qf.org.qa. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- Qatar Foundation Establishes $500,000 WISE Prize for Education
- "WCSJ2011 moves to Doha, Qatar - June 27 to 29, 2011 | World Conference of Science Journalists 2011". Wcsj2011.org. 2012-09-15. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- "Doha ... memories of the past and a vision for the future". Gulf Times. 2010-01-14. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- "Record agreement with Qatar | FCBarcelona.cat". Fcbarcelona.com. 2011-07-01. Retrieved 2012-09-19.
- "Barcelona agree record shirt deal". BBC News. 10 December 2010.
- "Wikimedia Foundation to Launch Arabic catalyst". The Wikimedia Foundation. Retrieved 4 October 2011.