QKONs platform and app aims at increasing Qatar’s waste recycling capacities
Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and Seashore Group have agreed on a pilot program to implement and test one of the university’s major research innovations - QKONs - in a commercial environment and within the local community.
The QKONs digital waste exchange platform and its mobile software application was developed by the College of Science and Engineering (CSE) to connect producers of waste to potential buyers/consumers of the waste, and therefore help companies and people benefit from waste recycling. QKONs-tagged recycling bins are already visible across Education City, as part of a pilot testing scheme at Qatar Foundation (QF) Headquarters and student housing complexes.
The agreement was signed at HBKU Headquarters by Dr. Ahmad M. Hasnah, President of HBKU, and Mr. Salem Saeed Al-Mohannadi, CEO of Seashore Group. Dr. Mounir Hamdi, Founding Dean of CSE, Dr. Tareq Al-Ansari, Associate Professor at CSE, and senior Seashore officials were present.
Under the agreement, HBKU and Seashore Group will coordinate a six-month non-commercial pilot plan to furnish, install, and test the QKONs platform and application within Seashore’s operations. The Seashore Group is one of the largest multidisciplinary business conglomerates in Qatar and operates 15 divisions. The Waste Management Division provides solutions for solid/liquid waste management and industrial cleaning, as well as support and technical consultancy. Services incorporate environmentally friendly recycling options, waste transportation, segregation, and disposal for industrial/commercial clients, and Qatar residents.
QKONs enables recycling companies like Seashore to monitor and optimize waste collection processes by accessing real-life geospatial tracking of the waste. Companies may, for instance, increase recycling capacity in areas detected to have high waste generation. QKONs also enhances waste recycling by giving users access to information about the closest and most appropriate waste bins and rewarding users for each transaction. With these and other features, QKONs contributes to the development of a circular economy, creating a benefit for users through a reward mechanism while reducing environmental impact.
Commenting on the project, Mr. Al-Mohannadi, CEO of Seashore Group, said: “We are excited to have the chance to implement the QKONs initiative in our operations and bring its benefits to the community at large. We see this as an opportunity to play a role in solution-oriented innovation that proactively advances environmental sustainability and increases recycling capacity. The collaboration with HBKU’s College of Science and Engineering strongly advances one of our important business values, which is to contribute towards a greener future for Qatar.”
The platform was created through support from CSE, HBKU Innovation Fund, and the Innovation Coupon - an initiative of QF Research, Development and Innovation (QF RDI). QKONs is also supported by the Office of Industry Development and Knowledge Transfer at QF RDI who support commercialization and technology transfer activities.
Speaking about the pilot plan, Dr. Al-Ansari, who will be leading the agreement, said: “We are delighted to enter this collaboration with Seashore Group that so strongly connects one of our research solutions with industry and national sustainability priorities. Such joint efforts between academia and industry support innovation and improved operational waste management efficiencies, which together contribute to national sustainability targets and a circular economy.
“We would also like to acknowledge Qatar Foundation and HBKU whose efforts support the commercialization of our innovation to generate value and ensure real-world impact.”