Qatar University’s (QU) College of Engineering (CENG) and TASMU Innovation Lab (i-Lab) held a second industrial stakeholders’ workshop at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) headquarters, titled Blockchain Technology in Supply Chains Stakeholders Workshop, gathering executives from majors technology providers organizations as well as information technology and business academics. The workshop focused on showcasing the recent developments on blockchain research frameworks and its applications in the context of industry supply chains.
The workshop was inaugurated by Ms. Eman Al-Kuwari, Acting Section Head of Emerging Technology, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, MCIT, and Dr. Khalid Kamal Naji, Dean of CENG, QU. They emphasized during their speeches the importance of collaboration between higher education institutions, industry sector and government. They also highlighted the growing needs of exploitation/commercialization of the research findings by the relevant stakeholders, including technology services providers, end-users, regulators and policy makers.
Dr. Munir Tag, Advisor, Ministry of Communications and Information Technology delivered the welcoming speech highlighting the contribution of the TASMU Innovation Lab in the digital transformation of the society in Qatar by making partnership between academia, industry and government in different sectors. He also presented the TASMU program that comprises five use cases, namely health, logistics, transport, environment and sport.
During the keynote session, Mr. Adnan Al-Banna, Manager Support Services, Milaha talked about digital supply chain resilience and its importance. He highlighted the efforts made by Milaha in the digital transformation field, and particularly in cybersecurity and blockchain adoption, leading to Milaha certification by ISO27001 and National Information Assurance.
Dr. Ali Alaboudy, Senior Expert - ICT, QNRF/QRDI introduced the efforts of QNRF/QRDI Council in supporting disruptive technologies. He explained QRDI strategy, which is based on dynamic interactive environment including five pillars namely energy, health, sustainability, society and digital technology which is the theme of the workshop.
Dr. Abdelaziz Bouras, PreAward Manager, Office of Research, QU presented the SupplyLedger NPRP11S-1227-170135 project (www.supplyledger.qa) and its achievements and outcomes, such as blockchain integration process, patents and scientific publications.
The workshop also included a roundtable, where participants discussed blockchain. During the round-table, Mr. Mohammed Al-Hashimi, Chief Technlogy Officer, CISCO stated that blockchain has many important aspects such as a tracking aspect that CISCO is using to track every bit of detail of a product, in a sustainable way.
Dr. Mazen Al-Masri, CEO Genesis Technologies – Ass. Prof. QU, from his side highlighted the importance of awareness about adopting blockchain. He stressed that the lack of adoption in the local context is due to the lack of technological talent and the lack of regulation clarity related to blockchain.
Mr. Ibrahim Baddad, Senior Managing Consultant, IBM quantified the benefit from using blockchain in different aspects such as transparency. He added that blockchain in supply chains is getting more maturity during the recent years with Blockchain 2.0 and 3.0. While Dr. Andrew Dahdal, Assoc. Prof. QU, underlined the need of having regulations related to blockchain in Qatar. He gave examples from different countries that are adjusting their regulations and implementing laws to make blockchain technology more beneficial to industry and government entities.
Dr. Karma Sherif, Professor in QU, stated that the user needs to be trained on how technology processes work. She highlighted the possible solutions for the resistance to change and the necessity for automatic compliance.
Mr. Mehdi Ben Moussa, Data and AI specialist, Microsoft stated that change resistance is one the main challenges facing the adoption of such technologies. He argued that analytics is there to add more support to decision makers but AI is also changing the process and activities.
Dr. Ibrahim Khalil, RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia talked about blockchain in the context of supply chain in terms of deployment and consensus mechanisms. He also wondered how to protect privacy using the adequate policies
The moderators concluded the round-table by thanking the participants and hoping that Qatari industry get more involvement in the acceleration of the ongoing digital transformation and blockchain improvement. An executive summary from the workshop discussions will be produced soon and found on this page.
Source: Qatar University