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The Research Sector Inaugurated the First Kuwait University Inventions Forum: Present and Future

Under the Patronage of Kuwait University President

Under the patronage of Kuwait University President, Prof. Hussain Ahmad Al-Ansari, the Research Sector organized “The First Kuwait University Inventions Forum: Present and Future”, with the participation of a group of inventors who received patents registered through the Patents and Intellectual Property Office at the Research Sector, in the presence of the Chief of Trustees of Sheikh Salem Al-Ali Informatics Award, Sheikha Aida Salem Al-Ali Al-Sabah, Vice Deans and their Assistants. The forum aims to raise awareness in the field of patents and the marketing of inventions among the university’s professors and students, as well as the various community institutions. It also aims to shed the light on the opportunities and challenges that face inventors in commercial marketing. In his speech on this occasion, Kuwait University President Prof. Hussian Al-Ansari explained that scientific progress and sustainable economic development are products of rigorous scientific research that focus on finding the best innovative solutions to address the problems which various public and private institutions face, pointing out that scientific research is the main source for the development of new products through the registration of patents and acquisition of their intellectual property rights. 

Prof. Al-Ansari: This Forum Is the First of Its Kind, Held at Kuwait University to Showcase Scientific Research Outcomes

Prof. Al-Ansari explained that as a confirmation of the University’s pioneering role in the sponsorship of science, scientists and innovators, Kuwait University has developed a new strategic plan which has been recently approved by the University Council. Kuwait University’s strategic plan 2018-2022 came in line with the latest developments and changes, and was based on the visions and proposals of colleagues at Kuwait University, as well as the students and partners outside the university, in addition to the model practices in prestigious universities and their compatibility with Kuwait’s 2035 vision and plan. Kuwait University’s vision and mission mainly focused on scientific research and innovation. The overall framework of the plan was outlined by adopting four main directions: First – Achieving Quality: the quality of graduates and the research, the quality of training programs and consultation provided for individuals and community institutions, the quality of administrative and financial systems that support the work environment. Second – Encouraging Innovation: by creating an environment conducive to creative ideas, and nurturing and transforming them into innovative projects that can be applied and invested. A number of events have been launched (spreading the culture of innovation “Start-up”, engineering design exhibitions, graduation projects and robots competition) where they showcased pleasant achievements by Kuwait University students over the past years. Third – Achieving Sustainability: through institutional work based on rules and regulations set to achieve sustainability. Fourth – Distinguished Presence: nationally, regionally and globally, through scientific publications, seminars, scientific conferences, students exchange programs and others. 

Prof. Al-Ansari added that below each of these four directions comes a set of goals, objectives and operational initiatives to achieve those directions. He also pointed that this forum comes as a response to the requirements of the strategic plan, which aims to raise awareness in the field of patents and commercial marketing, and shed light on the opportunities and challenges that the inventors face. The forum also presents a platform for this community of distinguished experts and specialized researchers to exchange views and experiences, and to present their projects and experiments in order to facilitate benefiting from their outcomes.

Prof. Al-Kandari: Kuwaits’ Future and Strategic Vision Requires Us to Take All Necessary Means to Provide Material and Moral Support to the Plans for the Development of Education and Scientific Research

Prof. Al-Ansari elaborated saying: “we are aware that Kuwait is a young country with a high percentage of youth who are educated and are capable of contributing constructively to the development process. Therefore, the need for more scientific research that contributes to the creation of future job opportunities is urgent and should be achieved. From this perspective, Kuwait University’s focus was directed towards encouraging scientific research by providing all the necessary scientific elements for its growth and prosperity.” He also pointed that the university provides sufficient funding for researchers to meet their research needs that include manpower, materials and equipments, in addition to specialized laboratories that provide the required services to researchers in various disciplines. Prof. Al-Ansari mentioned that the inventions and innovations showcased in this forum are a few of the outcomes of the collaborative efforts between researchers from various disciplines at Kuwait University represented by Research Sector. This forum is considered the first of its kind, as Prof. Al-Ansari explained, which is held at Kuwait University to present the results of some of the scientific research that was completed throughout the past year, hoping that it will take place in the coming years to provide the opportunity to view the expected accomplishments of the current ongoing research. He also pointed that researchers in all the faculties are putting tremendous efforts into accomplishing research in their various fields, which amounts to an approximate total of (346) current funded research at the Research Sector and Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences. In addition to that, Kuwait University has registered (49) patents over the past ten years. 

In conclusion, Prof. Al-Ansari explained that the only way for Kuwait to catch up with scientific and technical development, and to become a part of the global knowledge economy requires continuous encouragement of scientific research by providing constant support to researchers, which emphasizes the implementation of sustainable development and the 2035 vision. He also thanked the Research Sector for organizing this forum, especially the Assistant Vice President for External Research Collaboration and Consultation, Prof. Laila Marouf. He also thanked the workers in the sectors for their contributions and efforts, in addition to all the institutions that provided support and sponsorship.

On his side, Kuwait University Vice President, Prof. Yousef Al-Kandari, expressed his gratitude, saying: “It is my honor and pleasure to inaugurate the First Kuwait University Invention Forum to enlighten and introduce the Kuwaiti society to a community of distinguished researchers who have dedicated their intellectual performance and scientific efforts in their diverse fields to become pioneers in innovation and creativity, making our world spacious and bright. And today we gather with them to emphasize that the advancement of any nation and its progress is made only by the hands of its people as they make an effective contribution to build its future and ensure its development”. Prof. Al-Kandari further elaborated saying: “Some nations and societies care tremendously for the future of their society. Therefore, they think and plan ahead for it, and work for it. Those are future oriented and Meta cognitive societies who live on in history and are aware of its movement. They adopt education as a national security cause that guarantees its survival, continuity, future, and its place in human history”. He added saying: “Developing individuals has become an unparalleled priority for societies that are invested in building their futures. To sum it up, if the history of the nation, its future, and its progress are a result of its manpower, the development of the creative human mind is considered the gate of development and progress that paves the way for future horizons. This highlights the essential role of education.

The condition of education is not complete as a creator and guarantor of the future and the continuity of existence until its other half is realized as well, which is scientific research, for education and scientific research are the two faces of the same coin. Life experience is proof of what has become known as the “twinning of education and scientific research” as they both belong to the same human and mental genetic structure. Therefore, the attention given to education is only valid and effective when its equally dedicated to scientific research, and it would be of no avail to give attention to one without the other, for together, they pave the way for progress and are the symbol of civilization”. Prof. Al-Kandari pointed out that Research Sector at Kuwait University is dedicated to enhancing this aspect through the following: First: Field trips to faculties to obtain a closer look at their research needs and the problems they may suffer from. Those visits will commence this semester. Second: Reviewing and evaluating regulations and systems related to scientific research, the development of research performance, and supporting and funding research projects, with the aim of increasing legislations and facilities for researches from faculty members. Third: Dedicating serious efforts into marketing patents by faculty members as a confirmation of the knowledge economy principle, which in turn fulfills the principle of scientific research and development. Fourth: emphasizing the legislations and rules that guarantee patents and intellectual property rights for researchers from faculty members at Kuwait University. In conclusion, Prof. Al-Kandari said: “Kuwait’s future vision, along with Kuwait University’s strategy, require that we utilize all moral and material means to realize education and scientific research development plans in order to achieve the desired progress and development”. 

Prof. Marouf: A Key Objective that Brings Us Together is the Successful Marketing of Inventions

Prof. Laila Marouf in her speech on this occasion explained: “we gather here today at Kuwait University’s first inventions forum to formulate specific recommendations on how to develop research collaboration and coordination that revolves around a common goal that brings us together presented by the successful marketing of inventions”. She elaborated saying: “we are mainly aiming to support the production of influential innovative inventions, in addition to our dedicated focus on the practical development of those theoretical inventions which have not yet been exploited. We believe that the element of distinction between those two categories lies in the inter-institutional, interdisciplinary and multi-disciplinary collaborations that bring together its various parties to achieve a common goal”. Prof. Marouf expressed her pride in this network that includes various inventors, researchers and experts from distinguished institutions such as Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Sciences, Kuwait National Petroleum Company, Ahmed Al-Sabah Center, Equate, along with partners from the United States and the United Kingdom, also announcing the establishment of new cooperative bridges presented by a memorandum of understanding with the Science Club. She also explained that the audience of this forum affirms and reflects the endeavors of the patents office at Kuwait University and its efforts towards promoting innovation on a national level. It also actively contributes to the achievement of its main objective that the RS is striving to achieve, which is the creation of a knowledge based economy. The forum included a panel discussion on the opportunities and challenges that the inventors face in the commercial marketing and presentation of their inventions through modern means of presentation. The discussion panel included Assistant Vice President Prof. Laila Marouf, the founder of the US Patents Office Mr. Richard Litman, the Commercial Director at Oxford’s Global Innovation Consultancy Mr. Pete Moores, and the National Fund Director Mr. Ibrahim Al-Kandari. It was then followed by a workshop on the commercial marketing of inventions presented by Mr. Pete Moores. 

 

The inventors were given the opportunity to present their patent registered inventions as follows:

 

The first inventions’ title: Antitussive and Bronchodilator Uses for Enaminone Ester

Invention Team: Dr. Ahmed Z. Al-Hashim from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Dr. Ivan Edafiogho, Prof. Samuel Kombian, Dr. Mariam H. Yousif

Description of the invention: The antitussive and bronchodilator use for an enaminone ester relates to the use of ethy1 4-{(4-chlorophenyl) amino}
-6- methy1-2-oxocyclohex-3-en1-oate (also referred to as ”enaminone E121“) for treatment of respiratory conditions, and particularly to use of the ester as the active ingredient in a cough suppressant for nonproductive cough.

The ester may be used to achieve an antitussive effect, a bronchodilator effect, or both in a patient in need thereof. The ester may be formulated in any desired delivery form (such as a tablet, a capsule, a time- release capsule, a syrup, a liquid, an injection, a spray, or an inhalant), and be combined with any suitable pharmaceutical carrier, vehicles, binders, fillers, disintegrators, lubricants, solubilizers, surfactants, and other recipients.


The second inventions’ title: Method of Diagnosing and Treating Oxidative Stress-Impaired Wound Healing

Invention Team: Prof. Milad Bitar from the Faculty of Medicine, and Prof. Fahad Al-Mulla.

Description of the invention: The Method of determining risk of metastatic relapse in a patient diagnosed with colorectal cancer (CRC) can include detecting a level of at least one indicator of metastatic potential with a control, and identifying the patient as one who is at risk of metastatic relapse and a candidate for chemotherapy if an aberrant level of the indicator of metastatic potential can inclu7de at least one metastasis inducing gene and/ or at least one metastasis suppressor gene. An indicator of metastatic potential can include a copy number loss of metastasis suppressor gene.


The third inventions’ title: Odd/ Even Invert Coding for Phase Change Memory with Thermal Crosstalk

Invention Team: Prof. Imtiyaz Ahmad, Dr. Mohammad Al-Failakawi, Miss Areej Helmi Hamouda.

Description of the invention: The odd/even invert coding for phase change memory with thermal crosstalk devises a cost model that captures Phase Change Memory (PCM) SET/RESET write asymmetries, as well as write disturbs caused by thermal crosstalk. The cost is computed by counting the different types of transitions between the old and the new data to be written to PCM. An Odd/ Even Inver data encoding/ decoding algorithm makes intelligent decisions based on a cost model by taking into account the number of bit flips, write asymmetry as well as write disturbs. The data on the fly based on selective inverting (even, odd or full invert) to search for a minimum cost solution with aim at reducing write activities and extending the PCM lifetime. A hardware architecture for the present encoding/ decoding algorithm is presented that requires only two bits storage overhead for coding, regardless of the width of data.

In conclusion of the forum, Prof. Laila Marouf thanked the team and everyone who worked and participated in making this event a success. She also stated that the university’s community aims to join their efforts together in their fields and expertise to improve the educational and research processes at the university, wishing everyone to continue their efforts into elevating Kuwait’s status regionally and globally.

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