Right Mix of Support, Investment, Policy and Incentives Will Make UAE an R&D Powerhouse, Agree Experts
Consensus at University Leadership Council Media Roundtable on Adequate Capacity Building to Make UAE True Knowledge Economy
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 24 April, 2012 – The right mix of support, investment, policy and incentives can make Abu Dhabi and the UAE a true knowledge economy and an R&D powerhouse, according to experts at a media roundtable in Abu Dhabi.
Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, the media roundtable titled ‘Creating an R&D Culture in the UAE’ was held at Masdar Institute campus. It was attended by University Leadership Council’s Executive Council members, select members of the media and representatives from other universities.
The media roundtable served as an appropriate forum to discuss the white paper titled ‘Establishing a Research and Development Culture to Create a Knowledge Economy’. The paper was developed by the University Leadership Council, a platform for academic leaderships to share creative ideas, foster common interests and spearhead new initiatives for innovation and technology transfer in the region.
Moderated by Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, the panelists included University Leadership Council’s Executive Council members Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (AUS), Dr. Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University, and Dr. Rory Hume, Provost of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).
Panelists agreed that the wise leadership of the UAE with forward-looking and business-friendly policies has deftly steered the country’s economic progress. But they added that the country has now reached a critical stage from where it has to have an even broader perspective towards building knowledge capabilities for stable long-term growth. The University Leadership Council Executive Committee members also announced that a high-level workshop on R&D, innovation, entrepreneurship and intellectual property rights will be held in the near future as a logical course of action to inform stakeholders on the road ahead.
Moderating the discussions, Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh said: “Education, from primary school level to specialized technical and creative disciplines will be the core requirements as they help facilitate in fostering a strong culture of research and development; creativity; and rigorous testing of new ideas. And once we have regulatory a system conducive to the local development of new knowledge industries, the growth in entrepreneurial activity is sure to follow and the UAE leadership deserves to be commended for creating the right environment for long-term social and economic progress.”
Dr. Peter Heath said: “With basic, applied and development research, the right intellectual environment is required to create new ideas that may lead to innovation. The academia has an important role to play and we believe the white paper is one of the instruments that can offer us the roadmap to chart our progress. With these ingredients, the academia can collaborate with industry and the government to make way for a new era and gradually usher in the R&D culture in the UAE.”
Dr. Tod Laursen said: “Part of the entire process also calls for the industry to embrace change, invest in new ideas and build on human capability. This can be achieved by providing funding and engaging academic institutions in areas of interest to specific sectors, which will lead to businesses adapting or providing better and smarter products and services. Funding in my opinion is pivotal to the community adopting the culture of innovation.”
Dr. Rory Hume said: “The government has to remain the leading driver and the primary force behind the creation of the research culture. It can do so through setting up the right regulatory framework and providing incentives. The likelihood of positive and productive outcomes of funded research is much higher when competition for funding is kept open. And because it has the power to streamline and facilitate the market penetration of the results of research, we need the government to be actively involved in this endeavor.”
Representatives from the media agreed that the University Leadership Council’s white paper has correctly pointed out the components required to ensure the UAE remains on the long-term growth path. They also commended the University Leadership Council’s media roundtable initiative as well as the ‘Bridging the Knowledge Economy’ forum that was held in February earlier this year.
The media roundtable and the forum were part of the University Leadership Council’s endeavor to advance research and innovation, while promoting economic development in the UAE.
Acting as a link for faculty and students to interface with both the public and private sectors, the University Leadership Council aims to seek industrial, government, and private individual financial support for the academic and research activities of the universities. It is also mandated to advance the educational goals of the UAE-based universities and align their policies with the government with regard to meeting the requirements of the economy and the industry.
About University Leadership Council
The University Leadership Council (ULC) has been established to serve as a platform for academic leaderships to share creative ideas, foster common interests and spearhead new initiatives for innovation and technology transfer in the region. The Council will work with industry and government to highlight the importance and contribution of higher education to the development of human capital and R&D capacity, and will seek industrial as well as government financial support for research which is relevant to and promotes the overall economic development of the country.
- Address higher education issues and needs;
- Foster synergy through cooperative research and academic activities;
- Act as a link for faculty and students to interface with both the public and private sectors;
- Seek industrial, government, and private financial support for the academic and research activities of the universities;
- Raise awareness of the importance of R&D and the need to promote science and technology in the UAE through local meetings, forums and seminars;
- Encourage and support university, government and industry partnerships in order to advance research and innovation and fulfill the country’s vision;
About the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU)
- 21st Century research-based university, providing research solutions to support the UAE and, through its global partners, the wider world
- Founded in 1976 by HH Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan; the UAE’s first national university
- Chancellor: His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research
- Ranked # 338 in the 2011/2012 Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) World University Rankings
- Nine faculties:
- Business & Economics
- Food & Agriculture
- Humanities & Social Sciences
- Information Technology
- Medicine & Health Science
- 12,279 students enrolled in 2010/11
- First PhD program in UAE national institution commenced in 2009
- Strong focus on providing specific research solutions and benefits to society − the new model of a 21st Century university, furthering research as part of the global network of discovery and innovation
About Zayed University
Zayed University is an educational centre of excellence in an emerging and evolving nation, the UAE. Proudly bearing the name of the founder of the nation– the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan – it stands for innovation, inspiration, and education. The University was founded to prepare male and female leaders who will provide the knowledge and abilities this nation will need to enjoy a future of security and progress. It offers an academic program that prepares talented, ambitious and enthusiastic students for success in government, the arts, business, media and IT and to meet the challenges of a dynamic twenty-first century world.
The University was founded for UAE National women in 1998, with campuses in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Today, the University is educating more than 7,000 female and male students from more than 19 countries to compete and thrive in a global environment.
The university is considered the first university in the Middle East to be accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, the University's programs are recognized internationally as coming from a quality assured university. This is considered an accomplishment as this accreditation has not been given to any other university outside the United States.
Since its inception, the University has set ambitious development targets and is adamant that these will be accomplished without losing sight of UAE national culture, heritage and identity. As a national educational leader of the UAE, Zayed University celebrates past, present and future by combining Emirati traditions with progressive and innovative pedagogical practices.
About Khalifa University
Khalifa University was established in February 2007 by a decree issued by the UAE President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan to complement Abu Dhabi’s 2030 vision, which aims at building a knowledge-based economy that effectively contributes to the development of the UAE.
Khalifa University’s main campus is located in Abu Dhabi, while it operates with another campus in Sharjah, and presently offers bachelor degrees in Computer, Communication, Electronic, Software, Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering, Master’s and Doctorate degree programs in Computer, Telecommunication and Electronic Engineering, in addition to Master’s degree in Nuclear Engineering, Information Security and International and Civil Security.
In the future, Khalifa University will also offer degrees in other disciplines of Engineering, Logistics and Management and Life Sciences which include bachelor degrees in Industrial and Systems Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Moreover, Khalifa University will include research centres in disciplines such as Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Energy, Nanotechnology, Aerospace and Health Sciences.
Khalifa University is open to men and women from all nationalities with particular emphasis being placed on educating young UAE nationals. For more information, please visit www.kustar.ac.ae
For media inquiries,
MomenKhaiti, Specialist/PR & Media at Khalifa University
Tel: +9712 4018066
Mobile: +971 559568864
About Masdar Institute
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity in Abu Dhabi addressing issues of importance to the region.
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.
An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government, and other academic institutions in collaborative activities.
Masdar Institute offers degrees in:
- MSc Engineering Systems and Management
- MSc Computing and Information Science
- MSc Materials Science and Engineering
- MSc Mechanical Engineering
- MSc Water and Environmental Engineering
- MSc Microsystems Engineering
- MSc Electrical Power Engineering
- MSc Chemical Engineering
For more information please visit our website http://www.masdar.ac.ae
For more information contact:
Name: Bader Al Zarei
Public Affairs Department
Phone: +971 02 8109372
About The American University Of Sharjah
Founded in 1997 by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the American University of Sharjah (AUS) has come a long way since its inception. Today, a complex of stunning buildings on a beautiful campus plays host to over 5,500 students from 82 different nations, and a highly qualified and experienced full-time faculty of more than 350 dedicated individuals.
The vision and support of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qassimi, the commitment of its faculty and staff, the adherence to standards of academic excellence, all have contributed immensely to the enviable reputation that AUS has come to enjoy throughout the Gulf in such a short span of time. With a rich multinational campus environment, AUS has since the beginning aimed at fostering and encouraging cross-cultural contacts.
Located in University City, Sharjah, AUS is a not-for-profit, independent, coeducational institution of higher education formed on the American model. However, it is thoroughly grounded in Arab culture.
AUS offers 25 majors and 52 minors at the undergraduate level, and 13 master’s degrees through the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Engineering, College of Architecture, Art and Design, and School of Business and Management.
American University of Sharjah is licensed in the United States by the Department of Education of the State of Delaware. It is accredited by the Commission on Higher Education of the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, 215 662 5606). AUS is also licensed by the UAE Ministry of Education, and all undergraduate and graduate programs are recognized by the ministry and have been awarded either accreditation or accreditation-eligible status. All six of the bachelor's degree programs in the AUS College of Engineering are accredited by ABET, Inc. of the United States. The Bachelor of Architecture program of the College of Architecture, Art and Design is accredited by the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) of the United States. The Bachelor of Science in Business Administration (BSBA) as well as the Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Executive Master of Business Administration (EMBA) degrees offered by the School of Business and Management are accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).
Typical of the American system of higher education, AUS also places great stress on the development of the non-academic aspect of a student’s university life. Students are encouraged to participate in all manner of extra-curricular activities, form clubs and societies, stage events, work for the university student newspaper and literary magazine, and join the various sports and athletic teams on campus.
The AUS library is one of the most impressive buildings on campus. With an area of over 10,000 square meters, the beautifully-designed, state-of-the-art, three-story library is the first of its kind in the region. Since the inception, the AUS library was envisaged as a leading center for research and knowledge, further strengthening the university’s role as a premier institution of higher learning in the Middle East.
With the vast array of on-campus facilities on offer, the cumulative teaching expertise of a highly qualified and dedicated faculty, and the strict adherence to standards of academic excellence, it is no wonder that AUS has earned such acclaim throughout the region in such a short span of time since it first opened its doors in 1997.