Innovation the key to UAE’s success - GulfToday

Innovation the key to UAE’s success

UAE Innovations

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid interacts with a robot. WAM

The UAE leadership has recognised innovation as a cornerstone of social and economic development. Encouraging new ideas and instilling the spirit of creativity among the community have helped transform the nation into a primary destination for talents and businesses.

The upward path of the UAE in world competitiveness testifies to the great strides taken on this score, with the country ranked the seventh most competitive economy in the world in 2018, its best ranking ever, according to the IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s 2018 data which showed that the UAE secured No.1 ranking in 20 indicators and achieved top positions in several others.

In October 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched the National Innovation Strategy with the aim of making the UAE one of the most innovative nations in the world within seven years.

Emirati enterprise is now recognised the world over. For example, the “European Inventors Organisation” recently invited Emirati inventor Ahmed Abdullah Majan to be the guest of honour at the 11th Edition of Euroinvent – European Exhibition of Creativity and Innovation, held in Iasi, Romania. The exhibition promotes creativity and innovation in International context.

Separately, 22 Zayed University students visited two information technology, IT, companies in Germany to understand the modern methods used in designing and implementing innovative IT solutions to various business situations in different industries.

Organised by the Zayed University College of Technological Innovation, the students visited SAP, a German software company, and IBM, a computer hardware company, where they observed system applications and practice, and presentations and discussions led by experts. The students also met with experts and influencers in face-to-face training sessions and learnt new ideas.

All efforts are taken to foster innovation and technical skills among students in the UAE. The Middlesex University Dubai officially opened its Robotics Lab during a ceremony on its campus at the Dubai Knowledge Park recently.

The various projects carried out by students from the university’s foundation, undergraduate, and postgraduate programmes were shown to guests. Some of these included an autonomous ground robot, tea making robot, balcony plant grower robot, hairdresser robot, multirotor drone, and UAV control centre software.

The Dubai Future Foundation, DFF, recently signed memoranda of understanding, MoUs, with Imec, the world’s leading R&D organisation in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium.

The agreement aims to explore opportunities for partnerships around R&D programmes in emerging technologies, and client-commissioned R&D projects in the UAE.

Incidentally, Vrije Universiteit Brussel is one of Belgium’s largest universities. Its research teams are internationally recognised in many disciplines of fundamental and applied research, especially in the fields of Artificial Intelligence, AI, and robotics. In 1983, it was the first university in Europe to set up an AI lab.

When Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, DEWA, and GE Power, announced the launch of the Predix Asset Performance Management, APM, application at the 970 megawatts (MW) L1 power station in April, it marked the first digital transformation of a power plant by GE Power in the UAE.

The UAE invests billions of dirhams each year in innovation, most of which is spent on research and development.

As Sheikh Mohammed once stated, “It is by using the power of the mind and following innovative approaches that we bring about progress for our country and people.”

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