Business Voice (English)

FORTUNE FAVOURS THE BRAVE

How innovation is a way of life in Abu Dhabi and the UAE

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Building an ecosystem that stimulates innovation is no longer optional, it is essential for countries to compete, succeed and fulfil their economic potential.” That was the message from His Excellency Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, as he called for innovators and entreprene­urs from around the world to take advantage of the UAE’s attractive business environmen­t to make it in the Emirates.

H.E. Dr. Al Jaber was speaking during the 2021 Pujiang Innovation Forum, held in China, recently. During his virtual keynote speech, the Minister pointed to the UAE’s remarkable success story and bold ambition.

“Pushing the boundaries of innovation requires you to be brave, to be bold and, dare I say it, to be ready to fail on the road to success,” said H.E. Dr. Al Jaber. “This is the spirit that turned a hydrocarbo­n economy into a centre of excellence for renewable and new forms of energy. It is the reason we were able to transform our fishing and pearl diving villages into world class logistical hubs that today transport millions of Chinese goods across the world. It is the vision that allowed the UAE to explore space and send the first probe from our region to Mars.

“And it is the driving force behind launching the first university dedicated to the pursuit of artificial intelligen­ce – the Mohammed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligen­ce – that teaches young people from all around the world,” he added.

With the UAE and China celebratin­g 50 years of bilateral relations this year, the UAE was ‘Country of Honour’ at the forum, which was held under the theme of ‘ Innovation for A Better Life for Mankind’.

Detailing key collaborat­ions between the UAE and China – including renewable energy partnershi­ps behind the world’s largest solar power plants at Noor Abu Dhabi and Al Dhafra – H.E. Dr. Al Jaber said both countries had set the standard for cross-border collaborat­ive innovation.

“Together we are proving that when countries collaborat­e to innovate, costs come down, economic opportunit­ies go up and society benefits,” H.E. Dr. Al Jaber told the forum. “I see numerous opportunit­ies to leverage our partnershi­p for innovation across the traditiona­l and emerging industries, in creative and commercial­ly viable ways.”

Explaining how the UAE is applying this same progressiv­e mentality to refocus its industrial strategy, H.E. Dr. Al Jaber added: “To create a culture of innovation means going beyond business as usual. We are establishi­ng a more efficient ecosystem to turn ground-breaking ideas into marketable products, as we extend an open invitation to the world to join us on this journey of value creation and innovation.”

In Abu Dhabi, Masdar City – the UAE’s flagship sustainabl­e urban developmen­t – is attracting regional and global innovation and technology giants. As Masdar celebrates 15 years as a leading innovation hub in the region, latest figures reveal it is home to over 900 companies, ranging from multinatio­nals and SMEs to homegrown start-ups.

“These companies are developing groundbrea­king technologi­cal solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmen­tal challenges, across the key sectors of energy, water, artificial intelligen­ce, health, space, agricultur­e and mobility,” according to state news agency WAM.

“The work being done by companies in Masdar City to develop transforma­tive technologi­es is not only preparing for the future, but is creating it, while simultaneo­usly supporting the UAE’s goals of driving sustainabl­e and positive change,” said Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City.

In May, the Advanced Technology Research Council and its associated bodies – the Technology Innovation Institute (TTI) and ASPIRE – set up in Masdar City.

The Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) is mandated to define Abu Dhabi’s research strategy across academia and industry, consolidat­e funds for efficient investment and drive policy and regulation.

“Our team is proud to have a new home in Masdar City among other pioneers in innovation and advanced technology, who share our commitment in addressing the world’s most critical challenges and creating a better future for everyone,” said Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, at the time.

“Our world-renowned scientists and researcher­s will be working on delivering transforma­tive science and disruptive technologi­cal innovation­s at TII’s seven initial research centres of excellence within our Masdar City headquarte­rs. We will also be seeking to fund research projects and develop and launch internatio­nal competitio­ns and grand challenges through ASPIRE,” he added.

The Advanced Technology Research Council can count an impressive cluster of innovation­driven companies and entities among its Masdar City neighbours, including the Honeywell Innovation Centre, G42 Healthcare, the Internatio­nal Renewable Energy Agency, the UAE Space Agency, Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporatio­n, Siemens Energy, Saint- Gobain, Tabreed and Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar).

“The City provides a very unique offering that includes education, R& D, technology and innovation, all within a strategic base through which companies can test new technologi­es and build their partnershi­ps,” said Mr. Balalaa.

His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n, visited G42 Healthcare’s Omics Centre of Excellence, in Masdar City, recently to take part in the Emirati Genome Programme.

An example of innovation in healthcare, the ground-breaking national genomics initiative – one of the world’s largest – seeks to understand the nature of the genetic diseases prevalent among UAE citizens, paving the way towards personalis­ed and preventive healthcare delivery. The programme explores the genetic make-up of Emiratis using cutting- edge DNA sequencing and artificial intelligen­ce technologi­es.

“Advanced sequencing technologi­es do contribute to achieving a quantum leap that will guide us toward a comprehens­ive understand­ing of rare genetic disorders,” said H.H. Sheikh Abdullah.

Diversifyi­ng its national economy by adopting innovation as a way of life through bold strategies and ambitious plans, the UAE is at the forefront of sustainabl­e economic developmen­t.

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 ??  ??  H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n, visited G42 Healthcare’s Omics Centre of Excellence, in Masdar City, to take part in the Emirati Genome Programme
 H.H Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Internatio­nal Cooperatio­n, visited G42 Healthcare’s Omics Centre of Excellence, in Masdar City, to take part in the Emirati Genome Programme
 ??  ??  In May, the Advanced Technology Research Council opened its HQ in Masdar City
 In May, the Advanced Technology Research Council opened its HQ in Masdar City
 ??  ??  H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, gave the keynote speech during the 2021 Pujiang Innovation Forum
 H.E. Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, the UAE’s Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, gave the keynote speech during the 2021 Pujiang Innovation Forum
 ??  ??  Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is attracting regional and global innovation giants
 Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City is attracting regional and global innovation giants

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