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Emirates Scientists Council discusses measures to enhance role of R&D in UAE's preparation for next 50 years

Mar 2021

The participants reviewed a series of studies assessing the current status of the research and development (R&D) ecosystem in the UAE

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Chairperson of the Emirates Scientists Council (ESC), chaired the meeting of the council which explored ways to increase the contribution of R&D to economic development in line with the preparations for a new phase of growth within the framework of the country’s plans for the next fifty years, announced by the UAE leadership.

The participants reviewed a series of studies assessing the current status of the research and development (R&D) ecosystem in the UAE. They discussed measures to strengthen the R&D ecosystem in line with national strategies and policies concerned with investing in science, technology, and human capital to spearhead future industries and consolidate the UAE’s global leadership in the knowledge economy. The meeting highlighted the importance of scientific inquiry, leveraging advanced sciences to identify innovative solutions to current and future challenges, and supporting the government’s efforts to achieve its national and globally-aligned development goals.

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri confirmed that the plans for the next stage will begin by establishing a national framework to govern the development of the country’s R&D system with the aim of maximising the translation of its outputs to socio-economic benefits. She added that the ESC seeks to align R&D activities with national priorities, and enhance their positive impact on science, economy, society, and UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs).

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri praised The Council’s outstanding achievements, as well as its role in creating an enabling environment for scientific research, and devising policies and strategies that support sustainable development.

The ESC established the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists, the primary body representing the UAE’s science community. In addition, it launched the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment’, the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’, and the ‘Mohammed bin Rashid Award for Investing in Scientific Research’. The Council also nominated a group of scientists and researchers for UAE’s Golden Visas, which were granted in 2019 and 2020. In cooperation with the Emirates Youth Council, the ESC founded the Youth Science Council that has launched several initiatives targeting young scientists and scientists-to-be, such as the Good Question podcast about science in the UAE.

Members of the Council from the academic sector include His Excellency Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University (KU) and Executive Director of the Higher Education Sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge, Prof Ghaleb Ali Al Hadrami Al Breiki, Acting Vice Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University, Dr. Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Deputy Director General of the Dubai Health Authority and Provost and Dean of the College of Medicine at the Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, Dr. Habiba Al Safar, Director of the KU Center for Biotechnology, Dr Ali Al Zarouni, Executive Vice President – Midstream and Technology Development and Transfer at Emirates Global Aluminum, Prof Sehamuddin Galadari, Senior Vice Provost of Research and Managing Director of the Research Institute at New York University Abu Dhabi and Maryam Al Shamsi, Director of the Space Science Department at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre.