QCRI know-how to boost effectiveness of UNDP Accelerator Labs

Doha, December 14, 2019 – Qatar Computing Research Institute (QCRI) at Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). Signed during Doha Forum 2019, the agreement provides a framework for cooperation and collaboration in areas of common interest.

The UNDP Accelerator Labs initiative will be the main focus of cooperation between both organizations. QCRI is particularly interested in increasing the institutional capability of this project in order to generate actionable collective intelligence that harnesses new and alternative sources and types of data. To assist, QCRI and the UNDP will build capabilities among Accelerator Labs on data science and artificial intelligence for social/developmental applications through remote webinars and in person design sessions. Joint research and analysis of sustainable development data will also tap into QCRI’s know-how in these areas.

Generously supported by the Qatar Fund for Development, the Government of Germany and other key partners, the UNDP Accelerator Labs are an experiment to create the world's largest learning network on development challenges. 60 Labs serving 78 countries will unleash the power of local innovations, collective intelligence and experimentation to better address the wicked challenges of development.

Speaking after the signing, Dr. Ahmed K Elmagarmid, executive director, QCRI, said: “This partnership provides an unprecedented opportunity to demonstrate that we conduct multidisciplinary computing research relevant to the needs of the whole world. Data analytics is a key component of our research activities and we’re determined to fully employ our capabilities to enhance the work of the UNDP Accelerator Labs. We’re confident that this will result in better and more informed decision-making regarding shared development problems.”

Dr. Ingmar Weber, research director, QCRI, added: “We’re naturally delighted to be working with the UNDP.  Doing so resonates with HBKU’s wider mission to act as a catalyst for positive transformation in Qatar and the region while having a global impact. We’re all set for a productive two years.”

UNDP Administrator, Achim Steiner, underlined “We are operating in a complex, unpredictable world – but with the right intelligence, design and experimentation, we can accelerate positive change. This partnership between policy and sciences is of paramount importance to enhance UNDP Accelerator Lab Network’s capabilities, maximizing the use of data science and artificial intelligence to explore and analyze today’s global patterns, as well as anticipate responses for emerging challenges.”

QCRI regularly holds events to highlight its research activities and projects. For more information, please visit qcri.hbku.edu.qa and https://acceleratorlabs.undp.org/

For more information on UNDP Accelerator Labs, please check https://acceleratorlabs.undp.org/

About Hamad Bin Khalifa University

Innovating Today, Shaping Tomorrow

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU), a member of Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development (QF), was founded in 2010 as a research-intensive university that acts as a catalyst for transformative change in Qatar and the region while having global impact. Located in Education City, HBKU is committed to building and cultivating human capacity through an enriching academic experience, innovative ecosystem, and unique partnerships. HBKU delivers multidisciplinary undergraduate and graduate programs through its colleges, and provides opportunities for research and scholarship through its institutes and centers. For more information about HBKU, visit www.hbku.edu.qa.

About UNDP:  

UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in nearly 170 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations. www.undp.org

Stay in touch with UNDP Accelerator Labs at: https://twitter.com/UNDPAccLabs and https://www.instagram.com/acceleratorlabs/

For more information:

UNDP:  Gina Lucarelli, UNDP Accelerator Labs Team Leader. Email: gina.lucarelli@undp.org

QCRI: Ameena Ali A. Ahmadi. Email: AAhmadi@hbku.edu.qa

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