Revealed: Why UAE is the right place for innovators

Reuters
Reuters

Dubai - The country had been relatively quick in allowing normalcy to return to the lives of people after countries globally had implemented strict lockdown measures.



by

Suneeti Ahuja Kohli

Published: Thu 25 Feb 2021, 6:25 PM

The UAE is focusing on skill-building and establishing an ecosystem that incentivises innovation both in the government and private sector. “Anyone who wants to innovate will find the UAE as the right place,” said Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, during UAE Innovates virtual conference at Expo 2020 Dubai: Terra Pavilion on Thursday.

“The right ecosystem needs infrastructure and opportunities. It also needs a work methodology that is sound, and this is the basis of the UAE government and its various departments…The academia here has also focused on these areas with regards to STEM education, research, and technology,” said Al Amiri.

The UAE Innovates conference commemorated various government departments with awards for innovative approach to their work and set a tone and expectations for public as well as private sector to use technology and ingenious ideas to improve lives.

The country had been relatively quick in allowing normalcy to return to the lives of people after countries globally had implemented strict lockdown measures. The Emirates was among the first countries to conduct mass sterilisation programme and adopt unique ways to limit the spread of Covid-19 infection.

The UAE Innovate Awards is a recognition of smart public policy and its implementation by various government departments. “Innovation has become a very important part of our lives and we cannot do without it. Innovative governments are those that find opportunities in challenges and this is what we depended on in the UAE, with the directives of our wise leadership. This is how our approach to work in the governmental sector has been,” said Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, UAE’s Happiness Minister.

The minister also talked about the way forward for the UAE Government and highlighted the role data would play in future policymaking. “Data is the wealth of the future and governments that have big data will have a big impact on the world. This is why there is a transformation in government performance in order to gather data,” Al Roumi said.

Another area of focus would be intelligent automation. “Digital transformation allows more cooperation in public sector. It increases productivity and allows us to conduct our work with less resources and focus on human capital. This will provide great potential to government departments in order to achieve transformation and provide valuable services, keeping in mind the adverse impact of Covid-19.”

The minister also noted the use of technology for behavioural motivation among people. “Innovative governments will invest in behavioural motivation in order to provide strategies that will have impact on a wide scale. This innovative approach will save government budgets, enhance and encourage best practices. The nature of these innovative fields and its scale will be pivotal part of the future and this is why these governments have to have great due diligence in order to reach innovation,” she said.

WINNERS OF UAE INNOVATE AWARDS

Winners of the maiden UAE Innovate Awards have been announced on Thursday, highlighting the best out of 200 submissions for six categories. The awards will now be an annual feature for the UAE.

1-Most Innovative Use of Resources

Ministry of Interior

Achievement: For using K9 sniffer dogs to detect Covid-19 with 92 per cent accuracy

2-Most Innovative Government Process

GDRFA, Dubai Airport, and Emirates

Achievement: Installation of 122 gates at various departure and arrival points for contactless verification

3-Most Innovative Digital Transformation

UAE University and Department of Health — Abu Dhabi

Achievement: Developed an athletic model that analysed data and set expectations, forecaasted short and long-term spread of Covid-19, and suggested precautionary measures and plans.

4-Most Innovative Automated Government Procedure

Ajman Municipality

Achievement: Enhance the response system to help people during the pandemic

5-Most Innovative Automated Government Procedure

Human Resources Department - Ras Al Khaimah government

Achievement: Relocate redundant talent

6-Most Innovative Community Services

Abu Dhabi Municipality

Achievement: Creation of a platform that involved residents in decision-making regarding neigbourhood matters

7-Most Innovative Remote Solution

Ministry of Health and Prevention

Achievement: Remote medication was introduced at 16 hospitals run by the ministry

8-Most Innovative Remote Solution

Dubai Public Prosecution

Achievement: Remote proceedings during the pandemic

9-Most Innovative Remote Solution

Ministry of Justice

Achievement: Remote issuance of marriage certificates

suneeti@khaleejtimes.com


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