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KAHRAMAA signs an agreement with TEES Cybersecurity Center at Texas A&M at Qatar.

Published Sep 23, 2018

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 by its 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 director represented by Dr. Ioannis G. Economou, associate dean for academic affairs at 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 expertise and research 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.