KFAS marks four decades of scientific, technological business
KUWAIT: The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) is marking its 40th anniversary as a non-profit organization that supports scientific progress in Kuwait in all fields. KFAS was established by an Amiri decree in 1976 with the aim of driving progress in all areas of science and technology while also inspiring a culture of progress and innovation.
The mission of the foundation, chaired by His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad AlJaber Al-Sabah, is to “stimulate, support, and invest in initiatives and human resources that contribute to the building of a strong STI system and culture, while simultaneously fostering an enabling environment in which innovation can flourish.”
Since it was established, KFAS has been supporting scientific knowledge in Kuwait, to help all the relevant institutions achieve their goals, Director General Dr Adnan Shihab Eldin said. KFAS is working on disseminating scientific knowledge among all classes of the society, and its programs and activities have come to play a prominent role in the local scientific system, especially among the youth, besides to backing scientific creativity, Shihab Eldin said.
KFAS achievements include establishing the Scientific Center, Sabah Al-Ahmad Center for Giftedness and Creativity (SACGC), the Dasman Diabetes Institute and Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Center for Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging, he noted. In addition, KFAS has also embarked on work at the Kuwait University digital project, to help the Arab youth willing to continue their education amid the limited capacity at traditional institutions.
Meanwhile, Shihab Eldin said that KFAS is committed to dealing with the major challenges facing the country, making utmost benefit from scientific research for researches and programs on water security, clean and renewable energy and the environment. The foundation carefully selects the research projects that could help develop solutions or policies to address the country’s urgent issues, together with providing advanced training programs for the private companies to enable them set new methods of work, thinking and behavior, besides enhancing the spirit of innovation, the director general said. Referring to the KFAS new strategy that has been approved by the board of directors, Shihab Eldin said that it aims to consolidate cooperation with the local scientific institutions and to increase the spending on scientific research in Kuwait from 0.3 percent to 1 percent of GDP by 2020. Another major goal of the strategy is to speed up the steps for establishing a national council to be entrusted with identifying research priorities and financing them, as well as promoting people’s awareness and spreading scientific culture.
Shihab Eldin pointed to the ‘challenge of innovation’ program KFAS offers for high-profile CEOs. Through the program, the CEOs take part in developing innovation-based projects through collective activities that lead to real change in their firms. Later, these projects will be submitted to leading world universities for a review.
He also referred to the ‘Open Enrolment’ professional development initiative for private sector companies. It emphasizes a hands-on approach to inspiring innovative thinking and creative problem solving. In 2015, KFAS financed 203 lots of land for research projects, including 76 donations for new researches, all totaling KD 1 million (about $3.3 million). KFAS has also financed all research programs at the Dasman Diabetes Institute and international agreements. In 2016, KFAS has financed 46 research projects with international scientific and research institutions with KD 1.5 million, he said. — KUNA
Dr Adnan Shihab Eldin