The Qatar General Electricity and Water
Corporation (KAHRAMAA) has signed a new collaborative agreement with the Texas
A&M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES), represented this time byits
Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center in the United States, which aims to
strengthen cooperation between both parties for their mutual benefit in a joint
activity in relation to Cybersecurity.
The agreement was signed at Texas A&M
University at Qatar by His Excellency Engineer Essa Bin Hilal Al-Kuwari,
KAHRAMAA President and Chair of the SGC-Q Steering Committee; and Dr. Dimitris
C. Lagoudas, TEES deputy directorrepresented by Dr. Ioannis G.
Economou, associate dean for academic affairsat Texas A&M at Qatar.
Under this collaboration agreement, TEES
experts will study the current situation in KAHRAMAA’s grid and give
recommendations for current and future development opportunities for the
corporation to become a pioneer as a cybersecure grid. The agreement will also
establish an industry consortium, to study current and future development
opportunities for the State of Qatar where needed, and a mechanism to develop
and manage projects related to cybersecurity.
This agreement will also enable sharing
studies in several areas, including cybersecurity assessment and vulnerability,
malware infrastructure analysis and related research areas, such as critical
infrastructure protection. Moreover, through this collaborative agreement, TEES
will offer certificate programs and training opportunities for KAHRAMAA
nominees to acquire cybersecurity knowledge and skills for their careers.
In this regards, KAHRAMAA
President said “This further
cooperation between KAHRAMAA and TEES represented in one of its important
centers, namely the Texas A&M Cybersecurity Center is an excellent embodiment of an extended
successful partnership between our two entities.”
He added “smart grid
helps utilities conserve energy, reduce costs, increase reliability and
transparency, and make processes more efficient. However, it increases use of
IT-based electric power systems, which
can increase cybersecurity
vulnerabilities, which increases cybersecurity’s importance. That’s why we pay great attention to our grid security, by identifying
vulnerable areas, if any and other related strategic issues through a layered
security approach, proper data management and privacy concerns through
KAHRAMAA’s staff efforts and the support of our expert
partners such as TEES, which is our second collaboration together.”
This new agreement expands a previous
partnership between KAHRAMAA and TEES
, to investigate
smart grid technologies and challenges to implementation on the Qatar grid
through the Texas A&M Smart Grid Center (SGC) and its Qatar extension(SGC-Q).
The initial study aims to give recommendations to advance efficient use of
electric energy and the full transform of the electricity grid in Qatar into a
smart grid, promote collaboration to investigate smart grid challenges, and
deliver innovative and effective smart grid solutions.
Economou said, “For more than 100 years,
TEES has engineered solutions to real-world problems, with significant input
and collaboration from industry and government. Texas A&M at Qatar and its
TEES extensions are proud to continue that tradition in Qatar, and this
partnership with KAHRAMAA is just the latest example of these strong ties to
industry. We are proud to collaborate with KAHRAMAA as it works to transform
its utilities and power grid into a smart, cybersecure grid for the benefit of
Qatar and its people.”
The agreement was signed during a meeting
of the SGC-Q steering committee. During the meeting, H.E. Engineer Al-Kuwari was
updated on the implementation of the agreement and adding the Texas A&M
Cybersecurity Center to the consortium. The steering committee also defined the
priorities of Qatar’s Smart Grid Road Map, including the statement and timeline
of the smart grid vision and the main pillars of Qatar’s smart grid. Steering
committee members also discussed other priorities, such as creating
commercialization stage based on the SGC-Q’s intellectual property and
organizing a workshop with specialized training modules.