Sheikh Mohamed approves Dh5.6b budget for food, water research

Sheikh Mohamed approves Dh5.6b budget for food, water research

Abu Dhabi - The research, which also covers water scarcity, will be conducted over the next five years.


Ashwani Kumar

Published: Sun 24 Mar 2019, 11:00 PM

Last updated: Tue 26 Mar 2019, 6:39 PM

The UAE on Monday (March 25) reaffirmed its commitment to tackle pressing issues of water scarcity and food security with major fund allocation and new partnership.
"Today we approved Dh5.6 billion to support research and development into the global challenges of water scarcity & food security over the next five years. We have directed the executive committee to form global partnerships that seek innovative solutions in these vital areas," His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, said in a tweet on Monday.
Also read: How much food UAE residents waste in a year
The UAE is pulling all stops to find sustainable and innovative solutions through Ghadan 21 - a Dh50 billion stimulus programme started last year. In a step forward in Ghadan 21 R&D initiative, the executive committee of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council on Monday entered into a three-year partnership with XPrize Foundation to launch a series of XPrize Abu Dhabi competition that will unite talented minds from the UAE and globally to develop solutions for world's biggest challenges.
Sara Awad Issa Musallam, chairperson of the Department of Education and Knowledge and a member of the Executive Council, said Abu Dhabi government has committed Dh300 million over the next three years to launch 2-3 prizes every year.
Also read: UAE takes lead in food security, climate change
"We want to make Abu Dhabi a knowledge and innovation-driven economy. To achieve this, we want to create an environment where innovators, corporates, researchers and students thrive. We have already started delivering game-changing programmes to accelerate the knowledge economy. On Sunday, we launched Hub 71 to establish a global ecosystem for tech companies in the region."
XPrize Abu Dhabi competition, she said, is the largest partnership between a government and XPrize Foundation.
"Over the past two decades, XPrize has been instrumental in catalysing and bringing to life some of the world's most innovative development. Together we will create the first-ever sustained commitment to jointly solve some of the world's most pressing challenges on water scarcity, energy efficiency, human aging, food security, environmental conservation and artificial intelligence. Abu Dhabi government and XPrize will work together in designing and executing the competition by bringing together home-grown talent and innovators from around the world to find solutions for these challenges. We will engage nation's brightest minds in high schools and universities, and creating city-wide events to involve residents, students and researchers. The partnership will help to develop a vibrant ecosystem," she said.
Peter Diamandis, founder and executive chairman of XPrize competition, which is created by a group of philanthropists, entrepreneurs and others, has awarded over $140 million over two decades for innovative ideas which can make meaningful change in the world.
Diamandis said the partnership isn't just a priority for Abu Dhabi but for the world.
"We are alive during the most extraordinary time. We can solve every challenge and lift humanity." 
The partnership, he hoped, will bring new ideas and innovations to life.
Sheikh Khalid bin Mohamed bin Zayed, chairman of the executive committee and member of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council was also present.

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