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Ministry announces Industrial Revolution X for Emiratis

Programme to enhance skills and knowledge of Emiratis in latest scientific and technological fields

Gulf News

Dubai: The Ministry of Education on Saturday announced ‘Industrial Revolution X’ (IR-X) to advance the knowledge and skills of Emiratis in the latest scientific and technological fields.

The new programme aims to ensure Emiratis are keeping pace with modern technologies and scientific advancements occurring globally.

In addition to launching specialised start-ups, the programme aims to bridge the gap between academia and industry through matching applicants with employment opportunities and promoting research and development within academia to increase the number of scientific papers published by UAE nationals.

IR-X will begin with a ‘Design Thinking’ workshop at the National Science, Technology and Innovation Festival (NSTI Festival) running alongside UAE Innovation Month in February.

The NSTI Festival will be held under the patronage of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, at the Festival Arena in Dubai from February 15 to 19.

IR-X will evolve with time and adapt its content to prepare UAE nationals for upcoming “industrial revolutions” — hence “X” in the name, which represents future eras.

The programme is also aligned with the UAE Artificial Intelligence Strategy and the UAE Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) to boost government performance and to create “a highly productive innovative environment” by investing in future technologies.

It marks the beginning of the UAE Centennial 2071 phase that will require Emiratis specialised in artificial intelligence (AI) to develop new sectors and create opportunities for the national economy.

IR-X 2018 well be implemented in collaboration with Udacity, a leader in online education with credential programmes headquartered in Silicon Valley, USA, to focus on 4IR disciplines. The disciplines include AI, deep learning, machine learning, the Internet of Things (IoT), self-driving cars, robotics, and blockchain.

Udacity will create a learning programme that invests in the development of high-performing Emiratis to become “world-class specialists” in their chosen track and encourages them to apply their learning into their own working prototypes and research papers that solve real-life problems.

Hussain Ebrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said: “The UAE is the first country in the world to form a specialised council under the name of the ‘Fourth Industrial Revolution Council’ to utilise opportunities and tackle challenges presented by the 4IR. Our unique IR-X programme is the only multi-purpose initiative that offers various paths for participants to take and fulfil the future markets requirements from every aspect.”

Dr Ahmad Abdullah Humaid Bel Houl Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, stated: “With the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we seek to elevate individual capabilities and equip students with the right skills to increase overall competitiveness of the UAE for the long-term prosperity of our great nation. To augment these efforts, we want to empower our students by supporting their skills and abilities throughout the entire educational journey.”

Dr Amnah Al Dahak Al Shamsi, assistant undersecretary of Activities Sector and director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department at the Ministry of Education, said, “Through this programme, we endeavour to enrich the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem in the UAE and focus on future technologies.”

Sebastian Thrun, founder and president of Udacity, said: “Udacity is honoured to work on this mission together with the UAE Ministry of Education. This programme will bring the most future-ready technology courses from Silicon Valley tech giants to the UAE. It is a great example of the UAE’s mission to become a leader in innovation and prepare its youth for the job market.”

IR-X programme

It is the new programme announced by the Ministry of Education to advance knowledge and skills of Emiratis in the latest technological and scientific fields.

Eligibility

Open to high-achieving Emiratis — seniors or recent graduates with a Bachelor, Master or PhD degree

Candidates can register on nstifestival.ae/irx

An expert panel from the ministry and strategic partners to initially screen applications

Submissions meeting criteria eligible to proceed to the next phase

IR-X participants will embark on extensive 12-month programme

Core tracks

IR-X has three core tracks — Entrepreneurship, Research and Employment

Entrepreneurship Track supports beneficiaries in starting their entrepreneurial ventures

Employment Track supports applicants in finding employment opportunities suitable for their expertise and skills

Research Track provides candidates with opportunity to submit scientific research papers within 4IR fields in return for postgraduate scholarships in prestigious international institutions

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