Dubai: Smart Dubai has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with IBM for setting up Data Science Lab and collaborating on organising the Chief Data Officer (CDO) Summit in Dubai in 2019.

The MoU was signed at the UN World Data Forum 2018 on Tuesday, being at Dubai’s Madinat Jumeirah from October 22-24.

The Data Science Lab seeks to develop data science skills in Dubai and foster collaboration among the data science community to identify and explore opportunities to boost the creation of a data ecosystem.

In terms of the MoU, IBM will provide skills and expertise on data science, artificial intelligence (AI) and data analytics.

Smart Dubai will also collaborate with IBM to look into organising a chief data officer summit, which will aim to bring together thought leaders and decision makers in the data science sector from the region and underline the importance of CDO Leadership.

“The emirate of Dubai has undergone a sweeping and rapid shift towards advanced technologies, embracing them in its plans to become a world-leading smart city,” said Younus Al Nasser, Assistant Director General of Smart Dubai, CEO of the Dubai Data Establishment.

The MoU outlines a set of roles and contributions Smart Dubai will be providing, namely: provide a physical location for the data science lab; host a quarterly data science think tank event; communicate with government entities; promote training and engagement with government entities to enable data science projects; conduct one Data Science Hackathon; and manage an internship programme in the Data Science Lab for UAE nationals.

“At IBM, we believe that enterprises — and the professionals who serve them — will succeed or fail because of data,” said Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.

In terms of the agreement, IBM aims to support the Data Science Lab to carry out pilot projects and assess feasibility; share the latest advancements in data science; provide data science training; facilitate design thinking workshops; and help Smart Dubai organise and manage the Chief Data Officer Summit.