INNOV-Italy UAE Webinar Series

Innov-Italy UAE aims at improving the opportunities for bilateral cooperation between Italy and the United Arab Emirates in six high-innovation sectors, including cybersecurity, space, smart cities and sustainable mobility, life sciences, food technologies, and renewable energy, water and circular economy.

Research centers, universities, companies, startups, incubators and financial entities from both countries will come together to enhance the innovative potential of the each country in these key sectors. As a result, the initiative will also prepare the ground for the participation in EXPO2020 Dubai.

The first phase of the INNOV-Italy Initiative involves a series of virtual webinars and e-forums, scheduled to take place between October and December 2020.  We will host biweekly webinars, during which two representatives from the institutional and research worlds from both Italy and the UAE will speak. Their conversations will focus around defining and illustrating the perimeter of the collaboration in each sector.

The initiative’s second phase will involve monthly workshops in Abu Dhabi and Dubai between January and June 2021. Each workshop will be dedicated to a given sector, in which institutional, research, business and financial representatives of the two countries will participate.

Each workshop will highlight the research and industry achievements from the two countries and an analysis of the chief technological challenges. The workshops will also delve into  possible ways for start-ups to be involved in addressing those challenges. Finally,  Italy’s General Commissioner Office for EXPO 2020 will give an update on the preparation activities of the Italian Pavilion in each sector, and we will host productive B2B and B2G meetings.







Session 1

Title: Cybersecurity: Towards a New Paradigm?

Date/Time: Wednesday, 30 September 2020, 2-3pm UAE Time


The area of Cybersecurity has expanded in scope, relevance and impact in our increasing ICT-based society. The Webinar aims to provide a comprehensive “system” level Cybersecurity roadmap highlighting the collaboration opportunities in both technology and processes.  Top speakers from Italy and the UAE will (a) identify Cybersec gaps that emerge with the continuing progress of IT developments like Artificial Intelligence, and (b) contribute with forward looking projections about the collaboration areas spanning technology, socio-economic and educational aspects. 


  • Mohamed Al-Kuwaiti, Head of Cyber Security for the UAE Government, Supreme Council National Security
  • Marco Gay, President, Italian Association for the Information and Communication Technology (Anitec-Assinform) and Coordinator, Confindustria Technical Group on Digital Demand Development
  • Ernesto Damiani, Senior Director of the Robotics and Intelligent Systems Institute, Khalifa University
  • Luigi Martino, Professor University of Florence and Cybersecurity Italian National Lab, Consorzio CINI
  • Shreekant Thakkar, Chief Scientist Research Officer at Secure Systems Research Centre, Technology Information Institute
  • Salvatore Fiorillo, Senior Consultant, Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC)

View Session 1 Here


Session 2

Title: Space Exploration and Earth Observation: Technologies for Present and Future Challenges

Date/Time: Thursday, 8 October 2020, 11am UAE Time


UAE and Italian space scientific communities both experienced unprecedented success in recent years, systematically promoting space technology through incremental R&D and radical innovation. The Webinar will outline novel ideas and collaboration topics in novel technology development to support   international space missions in different domains.


  • Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairwoman of UAE Space Agency

  • Giorgio Saccoccia, President, Italian Space Agency

  • Prashanth Marpu, Manager, YahSat Space Lab

  • Carlo Festucci, Secretary General, Italian Industries Federation for Aerospace, Defense and Security (AIAD)

  • Sean Swei, Director, Khalifa University Space Technology and Innovation Center (KUSTIC)

  • Luigi Pasquali, CEO, Telespazio

  • Massimo Claudio Comparini, Deputy CEO, Thales Alenia Space

Register for Session 2 Here

Session 3

Title: Smart Cities and Sustainable Mobility

Date/Time: Wednesday, 21 October 2020, 2-3pm UAE Time


Cities become “smart” only when they offer services that properly take into account the needs of their population and of visitors. City services have to be context-dependent and support the achievement of city-specific goals. This Webinar will present multi-disciplinary, smart city solutions blending together the socio- cultural and technical aspects of iconic cities like Rome, Milan, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Italian and UAE academia, industries and public institutions will discuss new collaborations as well as novel ideas for new projects.


  • Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice President, Research & Development and Professor of Practice, Khalifa University
  • Nawaf AlMoosa, Director, Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC)
  • Antonio Puliafito, Director Smart Cities & Communities Lab., National Interuniversity Consortium for IT (CINI)
  • Edoardo Croci, Coordinator, Green Economy Observatory and Smart City Observatory, GREEN – Bocconi University
  • Alia Al Mur, Director of Marketing & Communications, Smart Dubai
  • Paolo Marchetti, Direttore Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM)

 Moderated by:

Cesare Stefanini, Director, Healthcare Engineering and Innovation Center, Khalifa University

Register for Session 3 Here


Session 4

Title: Life Sciences

Date/Time: Wednesday, 4 November 2020, 2-3pm UAE Time


In the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemics, research is leading to a world where cures and vaccines will take months to develop instead of years, or where all doctors will have access to the same data resources that the biggest metropolitan hospitals use. The Webinar will show how UAE and Italy are keen on developing their life sciences, pharma, and healthcare to achieve disruptive innovation like this. Joint initiatives in data collection and intelligence can enable a new age of research and discovery to develop treatments faster and reduce the high costs associated with work in the life sciences.


  • Dr. Habiba Alsafar, Director of the Center for Biotechnology (BTC), Khalifa University
  • Dr. Cesare Stefanini, Director of the Healthcare Engineering and Innovation Center (HEIC), Khalifa University




Session 5

Title: Food Safety Technologies

Date/Time: Wednesday, 18 November 2020, 2-3pm UAE Time


To guarantee the food safety to consumers and safeguard the agri-food sector the European Union, and Italy as a member country, have adopted the strategy of “safety from farm to table”. The Webinar will highlight the rationale  of food safety regulatory intervention and of technology development in Italy and the UAE, discussing collaboration to tackle  the challenge of ensuring safe food all along the production chain, setting up an integrated control system between all actors involved to ensure the safeguard of the requirements of food products and the welfare of animals and plants, whether produced locally or imported.


  • Dr. Saeed Alhassan Alkhazraji, Senior Director of the Petroleum Institute, Khalifa University




Session 6

Title: Renewable Energy, Water and the Circular Economy

Date/Time: Wednesday, 9 December 2020, 2-3pm UAE Time


The circular economy is a business model with enormous potential, capable of generating competitiveness by combining innovation and sustainability. In order to support this models Italy and the UAE have started initiatives to change the traditional approach to the market, to customers, to natural resources. Experience shows that technological innovation, environmental sustainability, energy efficiency and the use of renewable sources must go hand-in-hand. The Webinar will discuss how circular economy can deliver significant competitive advantages to both countries: cost reduction, efficient use of energy, reduction of CO2 emissions, optimization and safety of the supply chain.


  • Dr. Samuel Mao, Senior Director of the Masdar Institute, Khalifa University