Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 12 December 2019

Ghadan 21: Abu Dhabi launches new research and development authority

Five new research institutes will be set up as part of ambitious plans to transform the emirate into a global hub of innovation

Sara Musallam, chairwoman of Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge, wants the UAE to become a society of inventors. Victor Besa / The National    
Sara Musallam, chairwoman of Abu Dhabi's Department of Education and Knowledge, wants the UAE to become a society of inventors. Victor Besa / The National    

Abu Dhabi announced the launch of a "world-class" authority to position the emirate as an international standard bearer in technology and innovation, while creating a society of inventors.

The Abu Dhabi Research and Development Authority hopes to attract some of the world's leading researchers to boost the capital's transition to a knowledge-based economy.

The new branch of government, to be managed by the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, is part of Ghadan 21, a Dh50 billion package of sweeping reforms announced by Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, last year.

The ADRDA will oversee the construction of five virtual research institutes with a focus on biotechnology, food security, sustainability, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing, and advanced materials.

The centres will provide a platform for national, regional and international industries to collaborate with higher education bodies on projects that will shape the future of the country.

“Tackling the significant challenges that the UAE and the rest of the world [are] facing requires us to innovate technological advancements and creative solutions in a new and progressive way," said Sara Musallam, chairwoman of the emirate's Department of Education and Knowledge.

"We need to be inventors and not just consumers. My hope is that we achieve this aspiration with a world-class research and development authority, and share some of the incredible innovation coming out of Abu Dhabi with the rest of the world," she said.

"We will spur the creation of industry right here in Abu Dhabi and meet our goals of transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy.”

The new authority will distribute academic funds through initiatives such as the Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence, a programme that funds outstanding research proposals in some sectors, and the Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award, which is aimed at researchers who obtained their doctorate in the past six years.

Updated: November 12, 2019 03:18 PM

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