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HBKU and the ICSS Establish Knowledge Partnership

MoU advances role of higher education in promoting sports and its values

Hamad Bin Khalifa University (HBKU) and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly explore opportunities for cooperation and collaboration on sport and health, safety and security, and youth education.

Enhanced cooperation brings together resources, expertise, and knowledge, enabling HBKU and the ICSS to expand their roles as hubs of expertise and advice for governments, sport bodies, and other stakeholders. Priority areas, which include health-related threats and cybersecurity in sport, as well as sport and entertainment management, align with HBKU’s established research programs, while the ICSS’s work to safeguard sport integrity is supported by partnerships with Qatari and international stakeholders. Those include the World Health Organization, other UN Agencies, the European Union, international and continental sport bodies, and others

The agreement is based on mutual recognition of the role of sport in implementing national strategies, especially Qatar National Vision 2030, and attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Potential joint efforts include research, education, and training initiatives and platforms that will involve their respective experts, researchers, and faculty, as well as HBKU students.

Massimiliano Montanari, ICSS Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and Dr. Richard O’Kennedy, Vice President for Research at HBKU and VP for Research, Development and Innovation at Qatar Foundation, signed the agreement on behalf of their two entities during a ceremony at the HBKU Headquarters.

Speaking about the intent of the MoU, Dr. O’Kennedy said: “One of HBKU’s fundamental pillars that defines our competitiveness is our collaboration with world-leading organizations and institutions. We are pleased to establish this partnership with the ICSS to jointly work on initiatives that enhance the ability of our organizations to strengthen the educational and social role of sport. It will also further enrich local research and innovation capability to support Qatar in its emerging role as a major international sporting hub ahead of the FIFA World Cup.”

Established as an international non-profit organization with its headquarters in Doha, the ICSS aims to safeguard sport in terms of safety, security, integrity, and good governance while protecting the opportunities sport can generate in the socioeconomic domain.

Montanari, ICSS CEO, commented: “We are keen to initiate this cooperation with HBKU as a leading national academic institute and we foresee a productive and knowledge-driven collaboration. With Qatar’s imminent hosting of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, our joint effort will contribute resources, expertise, and certified training that integrate current methodologies and international best practices to safeguard sport. Our commitment is always to promote the instrumental role of sport in addressing societal issues and creating opportunities for youth.”

Research initiatives and graduate programs across HBKU and its College of Science and Engineering, College of Law, and College of Health and Life Sciences align with the national vision for sport as a key driver for Qatar’s social, human, and environmental development. For more information on the programs and research, please visit