The Gulf Today - Business - - SPECIAL REPORT - BY SA­J­JAD AH­MAD

SHAR­JAH: Shar­jah is be­com­ing an at­trac­tive des­ti­na­tion for the in­no­va­tors. The emi­rate’s ad­vanced ecosys­tem is the main at­trac­tion for global tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies, ex­perts re­vealed dur­ing an event on Mon­day.

The Shar­jah Re­search, Tech­nol­ogy and In­no­va­tion Park (SRTI Park) has suc­cess­fully hosted a sem­i­nar for key stake­hold­ers, fea­tur­ing lead­ing en­ter­prises from the UK in line with its on­go­ing pro­gramme on ‘In­no­va­tion & Ci­ties of the Fu­ture’. The event was held in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Bri­tish govern­ment and the Emi­rate of Shar­jah un­der the pa­tron­age of His High­ness Dr Sheikh Sul­tan Bin Mo­ham­mad Al Qasimi, Supreme Coun­cil mem­ber, Ruler of Shar­jah.

The event hosted in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy com­pa­nies from the UK, which also show­cased their works at the AUS cam­pus, as part of the se­ries of ac­tiv­i­ties be­ing or­ga­nized by SRTI Park in part­ner­ship with Fu­ture Ci­ties Cat­a­pult Ser­vices aimed at mak­ing Shar­jah a lead­ing des­ti­na­tion for re­search, in­no­va­tion, and en­trepreneur­ship and con­trib­ute to sus­tain­able de­vel­op­ment. Fu­ture Ci­ties Cat­a­pult Ser­vices is a UK govern­ment in­sti­tu­tion ded­i­cated to de­vel­op­ing in­no­va­tive prod­ucts, ser­vices and in­fra­struc­ture to meet the smart needs of com­mu­ni­ties.

The sem­i­nar seeks to strengthen Shar­jah’s link­ages with key tech­nol­ogy play­ers and lead­ing in­no­va­tors from the UK who have show­cased their projects and dig­i­tal ex­pe­ri­ences at the AUS cam­pus. A VIP panel dis­cus­sion is also be­ing held with the theme ‘In­no­va­tive Shar­jah: To­wards a World-class In­no­va­tion Des­ti­na­tion’ and mod­er­ated by Ni­cola Yates OBE, CEO of Fu­ture Ci­ties Cat­a­pult in the pres­ence of dig­ni­taries and of­fi­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Bri­tish Con­sulate in Dubai, Govern­ment of Shar­jah, and SRTI Park.

Sheikh Fahim Bin Sul­tan Al Qasimi, Ex­ec­u­tive Chair­man of the Depart­ment of Govern­ment Re­la­tions and Head of Higher Com­mit­tee of Dig­i­tal Trans­for­ma­tion in Shar­jah said: “The sem­i­nar is an ideal plat­form to show­case the com­po­nents of­fered by the Emi­rate of Shar­jah, which en­ables it to be­come a lead­ing global cen­tre for in­no­va­tion, re­search and en­trepreneur­ship. We are keen to or­gan­ise more sem­i­nars in the fu­ture con­sid­er­ing its pos­i­tive im­pact on our growth in the field of in­no­va­tion and dig­i­tal tech­nol­ogy and strengthen Shar­jah’s po­si­tion to be­come a lead­ing smart city in the world.”

The panel dis­cus­sants which in­clude Sheikh Fahim Bin Sul­tan Al Qasimi; An­drew Jack­son, Con­sul Gen­eral, Bri­tish Em­bassy Dubai; and Hus­sain Al Mah­moudi, CEO, SRTI Park, dis­cussed the im­por­tance of part­ner­ships and ex­plored key ar­eas where the UK and Shar­jah can en­hance co­op­er­a­tion in cre­at­ing in­no­va­tion and build­ing of smart ci­ties, in line with Shar­jah’s goals to pro­mote the emi­rate as a re­gional cap­i­tal for in­no­va­tion, re­search and de­vel­op­ment in the Mid­dle East and to strengthen its po­si­tion in this field.

A group of in­no­va­tive com­pa­nies from the UK which show­cased their prod­ucts and in­no­va­tions in­cluded Pave­gen and Straw­berry En­ergy, which pre­sented ‘smart seats’ tech­nol­ogy; Igloo Vi­sion for their vir­tual re­al­ity ex­pe­ri­ences, and Emu An­a­lyt­ics for their lead­ing data an­a­lyt­ics so­lu­tion. AWTG show­cased their engi­neer­ing and tech­nol­ogy so­lu­tions, while Hyper­cube pre­sented a range of data science plat­forms. Spaceti dis­played its in­tel­li­gent build­ing man­age­ment so­lu­tions while Win­now So­lu­tions has show­cased its food waste man­age­ment through data tech­nol­ogy.

Al Mah­moudi said: “This im­por­tant event is part of our on­go­ing ef­forts to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion with our in­ter­na­tional part­ners and to ex­pand the ex­change of ex­pe­ri­ences and knowl­edge trans­fer with them in line with our ef­forts to fur­ther strengthen Shar­jah’s po­si­tion as a global cap­i­tal for sci­en­tific re­search, in­no­va­tion, knowl­edge and en­trepreneur­ship. The event is an­other ma­jor step aimed at es­tab­lish­ing our net­works with key play­ers in the UK and build part­ner­ships with sev­eral lead­ing com­pa­nies in the field of in­no­va­tion and present to them the key op­por­tu­ni­ties to show­case their tech­nolo­gies and in­no­va­tions and lever­age the ad­vanced fa­cil­i­ties and unique frame­work of SRTI Park.”

Al Mah­moudi said, “The goal of this ex­hi­bi­tion is to pro­mote Shar­jah as the cen­tre for in­no­va­tion and tech­nol­ogy fo­cus­ing on In­ter­net of Things and smart ci­ties con­cepts. The aim of the event is to boost Shar­jah govern­ment and UK govern­ment busi­ness re­la­tions, more co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the busi­ness com­mu­nity of both sides and de­vel­op­ing a re­port on the in­no­va­tion land­scape of Shar­jah.”

Dr Amy Hochadel, Head of Global Busi­ness Growth at Fu­ture Ci­ties Cat­a­pult said, “The UK govern­ment and busi­nesses are very in­ter­ested in Shar­jah as they see the emi­rate is an emerg­ing knowl­edge and in­no­va­tion in­dus­try. The ecosys­tem here is very unique and that’s why we are in­ter­ested in part­ner­ing to do more busi­ness.”

To achieve its ob­jec­tives of sup­port­ing Shar­jah’s fu­ture in in­no­va­tion and ad­vance re­search in the emi­rate, the SRTI Park has been con­tin­u­ously pro­mot­ing var­i­ous ac­tiv­i­ties in line with in­no­va­tion, re­search and tech­nol­ogy and con­trib­ute to the trans­for­ma­tion of the emi­rate into a global hub for in­no­va­tion, re­search and en­trepreneur­ship.

Of­fi­cials dur­ing a sem­i­nar in Shar­jah on Mon­day.

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