Browsing 'qstp' News

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Chad Hurley, co-founder of YouTube, will serve as the guest speaker at the opening ceremony of the 31st IASP World Conference, which will take place in Doha in October, organizers have announced.

The theme of this year’s conference, which will be held in the Middle East for the first time, is “Science Parks; Where Technology Goes to Work.”

Hurley is expected to inspire the hundreds of government, business and entrepreneurs who attend the three-day event from Oct. 19 to Oct. 22 by sharing his expertise from working on the world’s largest video sharing site.

In a statement, Head of the IASP 2014 Doha Organizing Committee and QSTP Managing Director Hamad Al-Kuwari said:

“Chad Hurley is one of the most visionary and influential technology entrepreneurs in the last 20 years and to have him join, speak and contribute to the success of IASP 2014 Doha is a real privilege to our event and to the region.

This year’s event is already hitting new milestones and proving extremely popular, receiving its highest participation numbers in the past four years, and attracting 138 abstract submissions and 33 key speakers.”

According to the official conference website, this year’s event will focus on the role of science and technology parks as catalysts.

Topics will include fostering models of cooperation between universities and companies and the role that STPs can or should play, as well as their relationship with their resident companies.

Registration

The 2014 World Conference on Science and Technology Parks has been two years in the making, after the Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP) was awarded hosting rights in 2012.

It appears to be open to all, but registration is expensive, starting at QR2,400/person. However, students can attend for free, and group discount rates are available. More information about registration fees can be found on the conference website here.

Qatar is no stranger to big-name tech entrepreneurs. Earlier this year, the Qatar Computing and Research Institute, which is under the Qatar Foundation umbrella, as is QSTP, hosted inventor of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee.

Berners-Lee, dubbed by Time Magazine as one of the 100 greatest minds of the 20th century, spoke to a packed crowed in March at the Qatar National Convention Center about where technology will take the world in the next quarter-century.

Thoughts?

The Arabic language is poetic, but it risks being marginalized because it has not modernized to meet today’s challenges. We need to revitalise the language.

Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Misned, First Lady and chairperson of the Qatar Foundation, during her trip to Rome and following the unveiling of a new initiative called Loghati.

Gulf News reports:

Loghati — My language in Arabic — allows for the creation of virtual libraries comprised of ancient and modern texts, where each document is a multi-dimensional information repository that can be accessed, amended and instantly translated from Arabic into other languages and vice-versa. Loghati can host audio and video content in its virtual library.

Interesting!

Thoughts?

Two years after setting up shop in Qatar, Virgin Health Bank has finally starting storing cord blood cells in the country.

The cells, which are taken from a newborn’s umbilical cord, can be used to treat leukemia and other blood-related illnesses, and will be stored at the state-of-the-art Qatar Science and Technology Park (QSTP).

Doctors are just beginning to unlock the potential of stem cells. In the long run, the hope is that they can be used to treat victims of strokes and heart attacks, or those with illnesses like diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease.

Interesting, when I wrote about Virgin Health Bank two years ago, it billed itself as a public-private bank that will store a portion of the child’s cells for the family’s use and release the rest, with parental permission, into the national public bank for use in the wider patient community.

But Virgin no longer makes any mention of requiring an altruistic donation of a sample from each collection to a public resource (though it does give clients in the UK that option).

Still, there does seem to be an implicit promise that matching stem cells could be made available to those in need.

Gulf Times reports:

VHB’s new regional centre of excellence is the first significant step to meet the shortage of Arab stem cells for life-saving treatments in Qatar, (VHB CEO Dr. Rajan Jethwa) explained.

“When thousands of cord blood transplants take place around the world every year, saving lives that would be otherwise lost, the current shortage of stem cells from Arab communities means that the chances of finding a matched cord blood unit for an Arab patient within existing international registries are very low,” he pointed out.

Cord blood banking is expensive everywhere, and Qatar is no exception – storing a baby’s cord blood for 20 years costs almost QR13,000.

Read more about the service here.

And tell us what you think! Would you store your child’s blood?