Tuesday, 24 November 2015

UAE - A Year of Innovation, an Innovation Week, an Innovation Index and a lot of money to be invested in innovation

This part of the Empty Quarter has long admired the ability of the United Arab Emirates, and Dubai in particular, to get hold of an idea and make it work. The evidence of this for all to see.

This year is officially the Year of Innovation, in which not much had appeared to have been happening, until this the Innovation Week.

An investment of Dhs300 billion

As with many things UAE we shall start with the biggest announcement from President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, of the adoption of the Emirates Science, Technology and Innovation Higher Policy which includes 100 national initiatives in education, health, energy, transportation, space and water. Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum said: "Planning a higher policy for the UAE in the fields of science, technology and innovation that includes scientific initiatives, legislative recommendations and clear financial investment is a strategic decision that aims to change the national economy equation to drive it away from depending on limited oil resources. Our aim, as my brother His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, has said, "is to celebrate the last oil barrel we export because we will be prepared for that day when it comes."

The plan foresees an investment of over Dhs300 billion to build a vibrant knowledge economy in the UAE.

There are full reports in the Khaleej Times (here), Emirates 24/7 (here), Gulf Today (here), Gulf News (here), and Al Bawaba (here)

Importantly for this part of the Empty Quarter the Policy "includes new legislative frameworks to protect intellectual property and copyrights, attract scientists and researchers to the UAE's academic and research institutions and facilitate the easy movement of advanced scientific equipment and resources into the UAE."

The Innovation Week

Details on the UAE Innovates website (here) of the week long festival of innovation events.

Including, belatedly, details of the Intellectual Property & Technology Transfer Symposium hosted by the United Arab Emirates University details of which can be found here.

Top ranked in the Innovation Index

The Khaleej Times reports here that Dubai ranked top in the latest innovation index among Middle East countries and 16th globally. The Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has created with PwC the Dubai Innovation Index as part of the Year of Innovation Innovation Week Of particular interest are the coments that intellectual property emerged as one area for improvement and that professional services turned out to be one of the least innovative sectors in Dubai.

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