National Innovation Committee okays 30 programmes

Strategy to make 2015 as the Year of Innovation discussed at the panel's first meeting.

By (Wam)

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Published: Mon 19 Jan 2015, 12:22 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 8:18 PM

Abu Dhabi — The National Innovation Committee (NIC), in its first meeting, approved 30 programmes and initiatives to be implemented in the next three years as part of the National Innovation Strategy (NIS) that aims to put the UAE among 10 most innovative nations in the world within seven years.

The meeting, chaired by Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs, discussed the mechanisms through which the directives of the President, His Highness Shaikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for making 2015 as the Year of Innovation, will be put in place.

Al Gergawi said the UAE leadership had drawn a national clear vision for innovation to be among the world leaders by 2021, emphasising that the NIC would work hard to deliver this vision through a multilateral action plan including a review of many legislations, building innovation incubators, changing the learning culture in schools and universities and forging international research partnerships.

 The NIC stressed the need for mobilising national energies and boosting cooperation between federal and local governments and the private sector to create a stimulating environment that helps the UAE to make progress to rank among the top countries in innovation by that time.

The meeting discussed initiatives under the NIS which will stimulate innovation in seven sectors: Renewable energy, transport,  education, health, technology, water and space.

Al Gergawi also affirmed the NIC’s determination to implement the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to instil the culture of innovation in the government practices to improve performance.

“The rapid changes the world is experiencing require us to double our efforts to adapt with them ... so as to reach our goals as one of the leading innovative nations,” he added.

The committee also discussed ways of exchanging expertise between public and private universities and research centres, and energising the private sector to make socio-economic contribution to support innovation.

The UAE ranking in the Global Innovation Index was also examined.

Members of the committee heard a presentation by the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation on its vital role in empowering government entities in various fields of innovation through workshops, seminars and innovation laboratories.

Launched by Shaikh Mohammed in October 2014, the strategy works along four parallel tracks. The strategy’s first phase includes 30 national initiatives to be completed within three years. These include new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialised skills, private-sector incentives, international research partnerships, and an innovation drive within government.  

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