A private, non-profit organization established in 1995 by His Highness the Emir, Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science and Community Development is integral to Qatar's drive to become an advanced knowledge-based society.
Chaired by wife of the Emir, Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, Qatar Foundation is dedicated to serving the educational needs of the whole person up to postgraduate level; to fostering community health and development; and to nurturing research and entrepreneurship.
Its flagship project is the visionary Hamad Bin Khalifa University campus in Doha, where branches of American universities offer programs in medicine, international affairs, business administration, computer science, engineering, journalism and design. The Faculty of Islamic Studies opened in 2007.
Outside the academic sphere, activities include the Doha Debates and its Arabic counterpart, Lakom Karar; Al Jazeera Children's Channel, producing quality television for the young; Reach Out to Asia, promoting voluntary action for community development in Asia; and Qatar Diabetes Association, with programs of public education and practical support.
Research and business innovation are key parts of Qatar Foundation's work. Qatar Science & Technology Park (QSTP) provides international technology companies with world-class premises and services in a free zone, as well as an incubator for start-up enterprises. Situated in Education City, QSTP is enhancing the culture of research and collaborative effort on the campus, along with Qatar National Research Fund, launched in 2006 to address key national needs through research and to diversify the economy.
Looking ahead, Sidra Medical and Research Center, currently under construction in Education City, will play a central role, along with WCM-Q and HMC, in the field of biomedical research.