Dubai goes big on innovation

Dubai goes big on innovation

Dubai - The government has embarked on setting up an institutional framework of innovation by establishing "Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation" followed by "Hamdan Innovation Incubator".

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By Issac John

Published: Thu 10 Dec 2015, 10:31 AM

Last updated: Thu 10 Dec 2015, 12:33 PM

The Dubai Economic Council, or DEC, on Wednesday announced the launch of Dubai Global Innovation Centre, a joint initiative with Royal Philips, to expedite Dubai's transformation into the world capital of innovation.
The DEC said the centre comes as part of the initiatives launched by the Government of Dubai to provide an institutional infrastructure for innovation. One of the center's mandates is to organise the 'World Innovation Award.'
Shaikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority and chairman and chief executive of Emirates airline and Group, said Dubai is determined to be among the most innovative cities and emerge as a global innovation hub. "Dubai has all the elements to speed up the transformation, especially in light of the 'National Innovation Strategy' launched by the UAE government and a series of initiatives launched by Dubai last year under the guidance of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai," Shaikh Ahmed said.
He said Dubai government's vision to transform the emirate into a global centre for innovation is being realised through pragmatic measures. The government has embarked on setting up an institutional framework of innovation by establishing "Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Government Innovation" followed by "Hamdan Innovation Incubator".
In October 2014, the government launched the "National Innovation Strategy." in addition to the "National Innovation Committee." In January 2015, Shaikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the l Dubai Executive Counci, launched "Dubai partners for innovation" initiative.
The UAE, which is top among countries in the region interested in innovation, has worked to spread the culture of excellence, creativity and innovation, said Shaikh Ahmed. He praised the strategic partnership between the DEC and Philips resulted in the Innovation Center initiative.
Hani Al Hamli, DEC Secretary General, said the idea of the center derives its inspiration from the vision of Shaikh Mohammed. Quoting the Dubai Ruler, Al Hamli said, "Innovation is our only way to build a great history in the UAE." Al Hamli said innovation has become a crucial measure of performance of an economy, and one of the decisive factors in the development process. "Innovation facilitates a qualitative shift in the methods of production, increases productivity, and thus enhances the national product competitiveness in global markets. Innovation leads to the development of the individuals' quality of life and increases the economic welfare rates," Al Hamli said.
Dubai could be in the forefront of international companies in innovation thanks to its long history and cutting-edge knowledge and expertise in various innovation-driven industries.
Al Hamli pointed out that the center is a non-profit making entity seeking to consolidate innovation in Dubai economy. The center will be a partnership between the public and private sectors. It seeks to promote innovation and expand its applications in different areas of life in addition to encouraging and embracing initiatives and innovative projects. It seeks to enable Dubai to be a model for creative thoughts and innovation at the regional and global levels.
"The new initiative comes as a reflection of the recent celebration in the 'UAE innovation week", Al Hamli said. The center would cater for various fields, work and life, but it will focus on sectors such as the economy, trade and academic research, as well as health care and energy efficiency in the first phase.
Al Hamli said the center is in line with the best international practices observed at innovation centers in the Netherlands, the USA, Denmark and Spain.
Frans Van Houten, CEO and Chairman of Phillips, pointed out that innovation is the heart and soul of Philips. "The company has promised to employ innovations in many issues, which are moving ahead to develop the lives of nearly three billion humans until 2025. The company believes that it is through the adoption of open innovation and strengthening partnerships with institutes, academic institutions and industry partner's strategy, it will be able to employ innovations to improve performance in the field of technology, intellectual property, research and design.
"Both Philips and the DEC work together to create a platform to further develop innovation as a driver of economic growth in the UAE," said Van Houten.
Houten said Philips would be able to employ its expertise and knowledge on Dubai and the UAE community, especially in the areas of energy efficiency and health care.
"The company believes that a part of its commitment under the spirit of innovation in Dubai initiative will encourage other companies to work together to make the emirate a real center of excellence for the future."

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