Abu Dhabi: A new regulatory division, the Abu Dhabi Research and Development Authority (ADRDA), has been formed by the Government of Abu Dhabi to guide and oversee research and development in the emirate.

The division will be managed by education sector regulator, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (Adek), the Adek announced in a statement sent today (November 12).

According to the statement, the ADRDA will set policies and strategic plans to enhance research initiatives, including the formation of a policy center and the building of partnerships with research funding institutions. It will also include an innovation lab with dedicated space to develop and create prototypes, and to facilitate partnerships with the private sector.

“Tackling the significant challenges that the UAE and the rest of the world is facing requires us to innovate technological advancements and creative solutions in a new and progressive way. We need to be inventors and not just consumers. My hope is that we achieve this aspiration with a world-class R&D authority, and share some of the incredible innovation coming out of Abu Dhabi with the rest of the world. We will spur the creation of industry right here in Abu Dhabi, and meet our goals of transitioning towards a knowledge-based economy,” said Sara Musallam, chairperson at the Adek.

At this point, a number of R&D streams have been selected for exploration within five Virtual Research Institutes (VRIs), including biotechnology, food security, sustainability, artificial intelligence and high performance computing and advanced materials.

The newly established ADRDA will also offer academic funds through a new research award, the Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence, and through a competitive funding programme for outstanding research proposal. The Abu Dhabi Award for Young Investigator will also reach out to researchers who have obtained their PhDs within the last six years to share their knowledge with local institutions.