UAE: Dh200 million fund to enhance biotechnology for precision medicine, food security, sustainable energy production

Two of the funded VRIs will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates University



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A Staff Reporter

Published: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 6:42 PM

Last updated: Thu 13 Jan 2022, 6:43 PM

ASPIRE, the technology program management arm of Abu Dhabi's Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) has announced that it is funding three Virtual Research Institutes (VRIs) in Abu Dhabi Universities.

The move is in line with its core mandate to help solve some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

The cumulative Dh200 million funding across five years, marks a significant investment in research and innovation development, and it highlights the commitment of the Abu Dhabi government to build world-class research in priority sectors for the Emirate.

Two of the funded VRIs will be hosted by the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU).

The Abu Dhabi Precision Medicine Virtual Research Institute (ADPMVRI), led by Professor Milos Ljubisavljevic, Hub Director, is focused ontransforming biotechnology research in Abu Dhabi to ensure a positive and sustainable impact on healthcare through increasing longevity and enhancing the quality of life.

The VRI will partner with Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, and the Cleveland Clinic, as well collaborate with Johns Hopkins University, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina, among others.

The proposed VRI seeks to drive home the urgent need for a holistic healthcare system focused on precision medicine - whereby diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment arecustomized to meet individual patient need based on scientific principles.

In partnership with the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (SEHA), the VRI will develop a set of research projects that address the major diseases and drive the improvement of clinical care in Abu Dhabi.

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Hosted at UAEU, the second VRI - Abu Dhabi International Virtual Research Institute for Food Security in the Drylands(ADIVRIFSD), led by Hub Director Dr. Elke Neumann, aimsto achieve food security in arid regions. The VRI will team up with Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi Agriculture, Food Safety Authority, the Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi, as well as University of California, Davis and Wageningen University to contribute to innovations of significance in protected urban plant cultivation, urban agroforestry, aquaculture, insect, and algal farming.

In addition, the VRI’s activities will create cutting-edge data platforms and simulation tools to track animal and food-borne diseases and antimicrobial resistances, as well as forecast future consumer needs and trends across global and national food markets.

The third VRI, with a focus on sustainable energy production, storage, and utilization, is to be hosted by Khalifa University and will develop advanced renewable energy and sustainable technologies. The VRI will collaborate with New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi University, as well as Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Indian Institute of Technology, among other international entities.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com


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