The UAE has distinguished itself as one of the leading countries in the Gulf region. Its strive for innovation and creativity has enhanced its status, making it a primary destination to nurture talent and businesses.
The UAE has diversified into a knowledge-based economy under the pillars of research, science and technology. Its highly productive and competitive economy driven by entrepreneurs in a business-friendly environment has allowed private and public sectors to form efficient and effective partnerships.
His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched a National Innovation Strategy that aims to brand the UAE among the most innovative nations in the world in the next seven years. It is a primary tool to achieve Vision 2021 and an engine for growth across the nation.
Innovation is the key to promoting economic growth, increasing competitiveness and providing new job opportunities. The National Innovation Strategy focuses on stimulating innovation throughout the country. It aims to lead innovation in seven national sectors such as renewable and clean energy, transportation, technology, education, health, water and space.
The renewable energy strategy will create an innovative business unit to expedite distributed power generation projects such as small-, medium- and large-scale solar installations. This strategy will lead innovation in the renewables industry while also supporting applied research in clean technology.
Funding renewable projects
As per a report published by the International Renewable Energy Agency, Irena and the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development (ADFD) have formally launched the fifth round of funding for renewable energy projects in developing countries. The funding round of approximately $50 million is part of the ADFD’s $350 million (Dh1.285 billion) commitment to offer concessional loans to renewable energy projects endorsed by Irena. This is a sign of turning strategy into reality.
The transportation strategy will enhance innovation in air and sea travel. The aim is to arrange and organise the new products and services to excel in a more effective manner and save time. The UAE government has a well-established road network. These roads are multilane motorways capable of coping with the high demand for road transportation in the country.
The education sector strategy will launch innovation labs in schools and universities to prepare students with targeted skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, perseverance and adaptability. The Ministry of Education has adopted ‘Education 2020’, a succession of five-year plans to introduce advanced education techniques, improve innovative skills and focus more on the self-learning abilities of students.
As part of this programme, all forms of educational institutions, including schools, higher education institutions and international training institutions, will offer enhanced curriculum for mathematics and integrated science along with goal-oriented tutoring.
The health strategy will uphold innovative technologies in healthcare services. It will stimulate the growth of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries while also working with strategic partners to support medical research.
According to Alpen Capital, the UAE healthcare market is anticipated to reach $19.5 billion (Dh71.56 billion) by 2020, accomplishing an annual average growth of 12.7 per cent, marginally higher than the GCC growth average.
The water strategy will seek innovative projects to meet the challenge of water scarcity. According to Dewa, in the last six years, the emirate of Dubai has saved nearly six billion imperial gallons of drinking water through conservation campaigns.
Finally, the space strategies will use space technology for the purpose of study as well as for satellite communication, with specialised research on terrestrial applications. The UAE Space Agency is responsible for unifying, supervising and managing the nation’s space sector in addition to supporting its contribution to the national knowledge economy. After analysis, it is evident that the UAE has taken the initiative through the National Innovation Strategy to transform its vision into a reality.
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