Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Dubai Economy to set up a research collaboration platform

Government agency says website will match universities, funds and R&D-focused companies in seven clusters

Dubai is seeking to boost economic competitiveness by encouraging collaboration in R&D between academia and industry. Courtesy Waldorf Astoria
Dubai is seeking to boost economic competitiveness by encouraging collaboration in R&D between academia and industry. Courtesy Waldorf Astoria

Dubai will set up a digital platform to bring together academics and companies to collaborate on research and development.

Dubai Economy, the government body responsible for the emirate's economic agenda, will create a website to foster partnerships between local universities, funds and R&D-intensive companies in seven industry clusters, it said on Monday, without identifying the clusters.

"Active collaboration provides co-operative R&D organisations an edge by allowing for greater expertise and shared resources, which ultimately drive innovation and productivity," said Khalid Al Kassim, assistant director general for economic affairs at Dubai Economy. "Creating a digital platform will help in bringing industry and academia together in Dubai, which will increase competitiveness of the local economy."

The UAE has climbed two ranks to fifth place out of 63 countries in the latest World Competitiveness Rankings by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD). The country made significant advances in competitiveness last year, improving its business environment and serving as a springboard for more start-ups, according to IMD.

The new R&D website will be an interactive "matchmaking portal" where participants can showcase their competencies and issue collaboration requests, Dubai Economy said.

It will make collaboration easier, help accelerate innovation and increase R&D activity in Dubai, the government body said.

The move comes as Dubai implements government initiatives to spur economic growth, attract investors and create more jobs. The measures include easing visa restrictions, reducing the cost of doing business by slashing government service fees and allowing up to 100 per cent foreign ownership of companies operating in 13 different sectors.

Academia and industry have shown "keen interest" in joining the R&D collaboration network, according to Maria Al Rais, director of business development at Dubai Economy.

"Active engagement of potential platform participants already at the platform design phase is pivotal for a successful launch," Ms Al Rais said.

The platform will gradually expand from encouraging R&D collaborations to making an impact on the economy and generating direct income, Dubai Economy said.

Updated: July 29, 2019 04:02 PM

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