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H. E. Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak to Address University Leadership Council’s Forum on Innovation

Event to Highlight Requirements for Developing Culture of Research and Innovation through Linking Industry, Government and Academia

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 11 February, 2012 – His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, will address a forum on innovation in Abu Dhabi.

Organized under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak by the University Leadership Council, a group of top academic institutions that seeks to facilitate the creation of an intensive knowledge-based economy in the UAE, the forum titled ‘Innovation: the bridge to a knowledge-based economy’, will be held on 15 February at the Zayed University campus in Abu Dhabi. It will aim to highlight the requirements for further developing the research culture in the country.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak will present the opening keynote, while the government panel will focus on policies, regulations and organizations to promote innovation. The academic panel will focus on development of human capital and R&I capacity, while the panel on industry will emphasize innovation as a means to enhance global competitiveness. Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, CEO of Masdar and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Masdar Institute, will offer the concluding remarks. Dr Lamya Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Masdar Institute, will give the welcome remarks.

High-profile speakers and eminent experts will participate in three panel discussions dedicated to academia, government and industry. In addition to Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor of Abu Dhabi University, other panelists on academia will include the ULC Executive Council members such as Dr. Tod Laursen, President of Khalifa University, Dr. Larry Wilson, Provost of Zayed University (ZU), Dr. Peter Heath, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah (AUS), and Dr. Rory Hume, Provost of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU). Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, will moderate the session.

They will share views and discuss ways to spur R&I investment, facilitate R&I capacity building and further strengthen entrepreneurship development.

Mughair Al Khaili, Director-General of Abu Dhabi Education Council, will be a panelist on the government panel. The panel on industry will be moderated by Dr. Eesa Bastaki, CEO of ICT Fund, and the panelists include Yousef Al Bastaki Vice-President of Projects, Emirates Aluminum (EMAL), Dr. Nawal Al Hosani Director of ZFEP and Sustainability, and Sultan Al Haji, Vice President – Institutional Development, Total UAE.

These experts will seek to highlight the necessary measures required to expedite the establishment of a dynamic research-based science and technology infrastructure that will lead to innovation to further spur economic progress.

The forum is the first in a series of initiatives and events being developed to advance research and innovation and promote the economic development in the UAE. It will bring together research universities, government agencies and private sector companies to identify potential investment opportunities through collaboration and long-term partnerships.

Dr. Tod Laursen said: “As an institution dedicated to the advancement of learning through teaching and research as well as to the discovery and application of knowledge, Khalifa University attaches significant importance to innovation. We are delighted to jointly host this forum with our University Leadership Council partners and we believe the event will provide us rich insights into identifying measures that will help spread the research culture in the UAE and the region.”

Dr. Larry Wilson said: “Zayed University is an educational centre of excellence that aims to create leaders with capabilities to ensure the future progress of the country. This process requires spreading awareness among today’s youth on the need to remain innovative if this objective is to be achieved. We are confident this forum organized by the University Leadership Council will create the right environment to emphasize this facet of learning that will bring overall benefit to the wider community.”

Dr. Peter Heath said: “Being a center of research for solving the problems faced by society is one of the defining values of the American University of Sharjah. As a reputed higher education institution, we are privileged to offer our support to the University Leadership Council’s forum on innovation, which we feel will help the youth chart the right course through research.”

Dr. Rory Hume said: “In our objective to become an internationally distinguished comprehensive research university, the United Arab Emirates University places innovation as one of the top priorities. A strong research culture can greatly facilitate economic and social progress and we are glad to partner with other University Leadership Council members in hosting this forum on innovation.”

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh said: “Encouraging and supporting university-industry-government partnerships is one of the main objectives of the University Leadership Council. As an organization for higher education institutions, the Council remains committed to facilitating partnerships that will pave way for the R&D infrastructure to gain momentum. We believe the forum will adequately elicit opinions that will help chalk out programs for universities to play a key role in strengthening R&D to develop a knowledge-based society in the UAE and the region.”

Acting as a link for faculty and students to interface with both the public and private sectors, the University Leadership Council aims to seek industrial, government, and private individual financial support for the academic and research activities of the universities. It is also mandated to advance the educational goals of the UAE-based universities and align their policies with the government with regard to meeting the requirements of the economy and industry.
 

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