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His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan to Address MIT-Masdar Institute ‘UAE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2013’

Over 200 Primary Stakeholders to Attend; Discussions to Focus on Key Areas for Healthy Innovation and Entrepreneurship Ecosystem in UAE

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 27 April, 2013 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) today announced they will jointly host a forum on innovation in the UAE.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, will offer the opening address at the forum that will be held on 29 April in Abu Dhabi. The event is titled ‘UAE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2013’.

His Excellency Dr. Matar Hamed Al Neyadi, Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy, and Waleed Mokarrab Al Muhairi, Chief Operating Officer of Mubadala, will present the keynote addresses. Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, will provide the welcome remarks.

The forum will bring together approximately 200 primary private and public stakeholders in innovation and entrepreneurship to discuss the need for and elements of a healthy innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE. A networking event will provide further momentum for interaction and knowledge exchange.

In addition to faculty and officials from Masdar Institute and MIT, experienced entrepreneurs, investors, industry executives, government officials, and academicians from other universities will be sharing their expertise in panel discussions.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh said: “In line with our mandate to create critical thinkers and future leaders, it is Masdar Institute’s privilege to host this forum jointly with MIT. The support of the country’s leadership has helped us to develop the infrastructure and the capability for guiding students in the right direction for the future. Distinguished participants representing various stakeholders instrumental to developing an “innovation culture” will address key issues at the forum. Through this event, we hope to create the momentum required for the UAE to move forward in formulating policies that will help young people to emerge as innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Dr. Charles C. Cooney, Professor and Faculty Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, MIT, said: “The ‘UAE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2013’ provides an opportunity to convene the Abu Dhabi innovation ecosystem and celebrate the launch of the Masdar Institute’s Center for Innovation System and Entrepreneurship. Bringing together leaders from the government, industry and academia underscores the importance of collaboration in nurturing technology-based entrepreneurship. The multiple panel discussions bring innovative thought leaders together to expand the collaborative dialogue that will foster networks of partnerships across the UAE.”

The panels will be moderated by Dr. Charles C. Cooney, who will also provide the concluding remarks. Prior to the panel discussions, Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson, Professor, Masdar Institute, will introduce Center for Innovation Systems and Entrepreneurship, a new initiative at Masdar Institute.

The forum will include three panels focusing on perspectives from each of the key stakeholder groups that make up the basic infrastructure for creating, sustaining and developing innovation. The sessions will aim to identify issues and challenges, success stories and the right incentives to trigger innovative and entrepreneurial activity throughout the Emirates. In addition, poster presentations on potentially ‘commercializable’ research will be offered by students from UAE universities.

The first panel titled ‘Entrepreneurial and SME Perspectives’ will have experts including Dr. Douglas Hart, Professor and Co-Chair, Entrepreneurship Studies, MIT, Rabea Ataya, CEO, Bayt.com, Sami Khoreibi, CEO, Enviromena Power Systems, and Dr. Raed Hashaikeh, Associate Professor, Masdar Institute.

The second panel titled ‘Perspectives of Innovation Beneficiaries: Industry, Government, Investors’ will have three groups addressing each perspective. His Excellency Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director-General, Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee, Colonel Faisal Sultan
Al Shuaibi, Director of Strategy and Performance Department, Abu Dhabi Police, and Dr. Nawal Al Hosani, Director of Sustainability, Masdar and Director of Zayed Future Energy Prize, will share their views on the ‘Government’ perspective.

The ‘Industry’ perspectives will be offered by Abdelhakeem Al Mushtaghil, Vice-President, HR & OE, Emirates Aluminium (EMAL), Dr. Yehya Al Marzouqi, Director of Strategic Learning and Development, Tawazun Economic Council, and Khaula Al Badi, Head of Innovation and Technology Exploitation, Etihad Airways. The perspectives of the ‘Investors’ will be highlighted by His Excellency Abdullah Saeed Al Darmaki, CEO, Khalifa Fund, Roberto de Diego Arozamen, CEO, ALJ Energy, Ovais Naqvi, Managing Director, Abraaj Group.

The concluding panel titled ‘Perspectives from the Innovation Cradle: Universities’ will have panelists including Dr. Abdullatif Al Shamsi, Managing Director, Institute of Applied Technology, His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, Hamdan Bin Mohammed e-University, Lita Nelson, Director, Licensing, MIT, Dr. Mohamed Yousef Hasan Baniyas, Provost, UAE University, Dr. Mohammed Ebrahim Al-Mualla, Senior Vice-President of Research and Interim Provost, Khalifa University, Dr. Thomas Hochstettler,  Provost and Acting Chancellor, American University of Sharjah, and Dr. Nabil Ibrahim, Chancellor, Abu Dhabi University.

Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.

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