Khalifa University of Science and Technology has established a COVID-19 Research and Development, R&D, Task Force as part of its strategic approach to help tackle the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under the COVID-19 R&D program, Khalifa University has launched a total of 14 research projects; five projects focused on epidemiology, six projects focused on diagnostics and medical devices, and three projects focused on digital tools for understanding, mitigating and providing resiliency against disease spread.
Of the 14 projects launched, six have been developed as focused programs, each led by two faculty experts, while eight projects have been awarded as part of an open call for proposals across Khalifa University. These research projects were selected based on their technical merit, innovation, ability to deliver results within six months and alignment with the COVID-19 science and technology needs.
The Task Force is mandated to oversee several initiatives including coordination of the university’s cross-sector stakeholder R&D engagements and development of an R&D program that leverages the university’s established research strengths for addressing the UAE’s priority R&D areas for COVID-19. These include epidemiology, diagnostics and medical devices, digital tools for modeling and predicting disease spread and digital tools for mitigation and resiliency measures.
Dr. Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice-President, Research and Development, Khalifa University, said: “From the start, Khalifa University’s response has been focused and coordinated to ensure that its resources are used efficiently to contribute science and engineering-based solutions to efforts aimed at quickly bringing the outbreak under control.”
“The University’s measures will place its strongest research assets and ideas at the front lines in the global fight against coronavirus. Through mobilizing its R&D resources in response to COVID-19, Khalifa University is setting the perfect role for academic institutions in the region,” he added.
Over the past few years, Khalifa University has established research capabilities in healthcare by launching two of the region’s leading healthcare research centers – the Healthcare Engineering Innovation Centre, HEIC, and the Biotechnology Centre, BTC, – in addition to establishing a College of Medicine and Health Science, CMHS.
The two research centers along with CMHS bring in-depth scientific expertise in a range of medical disciplines. They specifically provide expertise in biomedical technologies, genomics, bioinformatics and functional biology. Each centre possesses state-of-the-art research facilities that are being used to advance the development of solutions for COVID-19.
The 14 new projects are in response to a call for industry, government and academic sectors to mobilize efforts to mitigate and manage the spread of the novel coronavirus and to create new technologies and solutions that will bolster the world’s ability to deal with future pandemics.