SRTI Park set to host 260 more companies by the end of 2021 - GulfToday

SRTI Park set to host 260 more companies by the end of 2021


(L-R) Hussein Al Mahmoudi, Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi, and Marwan Bin Jassim Al Sarkal during the event on Thursday.

Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter

The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) established in 2016 by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member of the UAE and Ruler of Sharjah, to future- proof the next generation, is set to host 260 more companies by the end of 2021.

On Thursday and from the sidelines of the second year of the “Innovate in Sharjah,” SRTI Park chief executive officer Hussein Al Mahmoudi said current number of investors is at 240: “We will have 500 by the end of the year. These companies are in various (areas of interests). The SRTI Park is an important hub of regional and international development for future technologies. Our role is to link efforts of the private sector, governmental bodies, and academic institutions to support scientific, applied and technological research to carry out investment activities and realise the UAE’s vision of a knowledge-based economy, based on best international practices.”

He reiterated what he had said in his welcome address before Diplomatic Communities and expatriate trade/business councils in Abu Dhabi, and Dubai and the Northern Emirates--that of equal importance and significance in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and which are components of the “Next 50 Years Vision of the UAE”-- are the “development of knowledge and talent, technology and investment. He pointed out that what differentiates Sharjah and which is being a main factor at the SRTI Park is the merging of the arts and business into one bringing resulting in the necessary innovation for the future.

The high-level delegation and distinguished guests were given a comprehensive tour of the SRTI Park within the University City and saw the first three-dimensional (3D)-printed fully functional villa in the Middle East, the progress on the Usky or suspended transport system, and the organic aquaponics farm.

The guests heard the testimonies of three companies: the Conreality from the Czech Republic and Ukraine, The Netherlands-based Institute for Transformational Development (ITD), and the Sharjah Open Innovation Lab (SOILAB) came to be part of the SRTI Park. Conreality is a game metrics platform and a tech start-up that builds on concepts for products and services--both hardware and software --for shooting live action games such as airsoft and paintball. SOILAB is a membership-based technology/innovation/design centre for artists, entrepreneurs, techies and students who shall be encourages to immerse themselves in 3D printing as well as woodworks and metal machineries among others.

Interviewed, ITD-Sales & Marketing vice president Charmaine Lim said the company focuses on combining state-of-the-art technology with smart mobile learnings namely virtual reality, augmented reality, and mixed reality: “Technology is just a tool and the heart of our company is people development. We believe in upscaling. The people in the are open to and are not scared of innovation. We are in Sharjah because it is the hub of education in the Middle East. (Global studies have also) validated that by 2030, 42,000 jobs shall be generated in the UAE through virtual reality and augmented reality which amounts to $4.1 billion or one per cent of the GDP (gross domestic product).”

Sharjah Government Relations Department head/Digital Transformation Supreme Committee Chairman Sheikh Fahim Bin Sultan Al Qasimi presented the journey of Sharjah, “The UAE Capital of Education, Culture and Innovation,” in the fields of technology and innovation built on the vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan, to continually fortify the educational and cultural sectors; beginning in 1998 when the University City came into being and at present home to at least 35,000 forward-looking multi-ethnic academicians and students. Sharjah Investment and Development Authority executive chairman Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkal talked about the support system the government institution provides to investors.

Interviewed thereafter and asked for the relevance of global unity or the coming together for the furtherance of education, arts, culture, technology and innovation towards sustainability on all fronts, Sheikh Fahim said: “Building innovation cannot be done by the private sector alone, by the government alone, or by the academia alone. We focus on what we call the triple helix which is a partnership model that brings the key components of the innovation ecosystem together here in Sharjah and the (SRTI Park).

We understand that education and culture going forward would have a huge technological component to it. (This is so) as one thing is for sure that the cultural space with the media tech and the social media has been disrupted and completely changed and technology has a role there. The COVID19 pandemic has proven than education has to adopt technology far quicker that it had before. We firmly believe here in Sharjah, that there is a unique opportunity there. Above and beyond that, Sharjah also has an industry. We have Beea’h, Air Arabia, Gulf Container, Petrofac.

These are regional champions in the industry in the industries they are in. We are looking forward to make that we give entrepreneurs and enterprises a hub to work with each other. That is what is this innovation is all about. We build partnerships.”

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