Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid at the launch of the UAE Innovation Week 2015. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Innovation is not an intellectual luxury or propaganda but the secret behind the government’s existence,  His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said during the launch of UAE Innovation Week 2015 here on Sunday.

President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan on Saturday announced the adoption of a Dh300 billion plan of Science, Technology and Innovation’s Higher Policy, which includes 100 national initiatives in the education, health, energy, transportation, space and water sectors. Its goal is to build a vibrant knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

The Innovation Week, running until November 28, is part of the seven-year national innovation strategy launched by Shaikh Mohammad earlier this year. Shaikh Khalifa had declared 2015 as the Year of Innovation.

“Our government agencies are racing to come up with creative ideas as part of the UAE’s approach to innovation. Providing a proper innovative environment for our employees means providing a better life for our citizens,” he said.
“If the government succeeds in providing the best innovation environment for its staff, we can provide a better future for our citizens.”

He praised 50 chief innovation officers in federal government bodies.
 “We have today 50 chief innovation officers who will lead the new phase of government development,” the Vice-President said.  Shaikh Mohammad, accompanied by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, viewed a range of projects in education, health, judiciary and human resources that were developed by chief innovation officers.

Initiatives promoting innovation launched across UAE

Dubai: Events aimed at promoting innovation kicked off yesterday across the UAE in celebration of UAE Innovation Week, which runs from November 22 to 28.
UAE Innovation Week is a nationwide celebration for everyone in the UAE, to help create a culture of innovation and strengthen the UAE’s position as a global hub for innovation.

Innovation Week, which will see the launch of more than 900 activities and initiatives across the UAE, was launched in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, after President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan declared 2015 the year of innovation.

53 smart services

Dubai Smart Government Department — Dubai Smart Government Department latest smart services and apps include the innovative Dubai Now app, featuring more than 53 smart services provided by 22 government entities; the MyID service for single login to Dubai Government’s services; and mJobs, a mobile government job app.

Dubai Smart Government is also holding a number of workshops, lectures and iTalks that will highlight Dubai Smart Government’s strategy and how to take advantage of, analyse and classify big data and use of government services.
Knowledge and Human Development Authority — To inspire students to think beyond the classroom, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) is inviting students to design the ‘Primary School of Future’ during UAE Innovation week.

Participants from about 30 schools will attempt to build a ‘Primary School of Future’ using LEGO blocks, indicating what they would like their school to look like in 2030.
Space for ideas

KHDA will also showcase innovation in education by providing a space for ideas and projects in a 35-foot shipping container outside the KHDA office in Dubai Academic City.

Dubai Executive Council — Dubai Executive Council is hosting three main events during Innovation Week. The first event, ‘Mission Space’, will take place between November 24 and 28, from 10am-10pm at Burj Park, Downtown Dubai.

The second event, ‘Space Explorer’, is an interactive mobile space observatory. The third event, ‘Go Innovate’, is a school road show, designed for children aged 5 to 11.

Range of enterprises

The first group of innovation experts showcased their innovative project ‘Energies’, the first of its kind in the region. The project aims to use solar energy and cars’ and motorcycles’ kinetic energy in generating electricity.

The importance of this project, which has been developed in cooperation with the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, lies in its contribution to creating a sustainable environment. It is a self-financed project that cuts the cost of energy production and helps reduce the ecological footprint.

Shaikh Mohammad also viewed the innovative project ‘Factory of UAE Pioneers’ — a human resources system based on artificial intelligence and smart technology. I
Other projects include the ‘Smart Teacher’ — a smart platform that offers interactive solutions for pupils to enhance their chances of education and seek assistance from virtual teachers. It was developed in collaboration with the Hamdan Bin Mohammad Smart University and the Ministry of Education.
Another project titled ‘Minds’, was developed by innovation experts who were inspired by the vision of Shaikh Mohammad to attract thought experts and creative minds to the UAE.

Shaikh Mohammad also familiarised himself with the ‘Genetic Fingerprint’ project, which is associated with the study of integrated genetic features and properties of the UAE people. The project is designed to help in diagnosing and preventing diseases.

The Genetic Fingerprint project aims to create nationwide information that would help bring about a positive impact on the national agenda indexes and the UAE Vision.

The ‘Smart Litigation’ project was developed by innovation experts in cooperation with the Ministry of Justice to enable the two parties of litigation to be judged through e-live trial. It aims to achieve easy, accessible innovative justice.

Dubai Health Authority

Dubai Health Authority (DHA) kicked off a series of activities and brainstorming workshops at its Health Innovation Village at Kite Beach to celebrate UAE Innovation Week 2015. Ganem Al Lootah, Director of Institutional Marketing and Communications Department at DHA, said over the course of one week, DHA will hold daily brainstorming sessions with UAE innovators and will conduct health awareness campaigns, including healthy cooking tips.

Roads and Transport Authority

RTA kicked off its innovation week activity with a keynote address by Tom Kelly, Founder of IDU Graphics Design and Development. Other activities of the day included the launch of an Innovation Race that involves competitions to generate ideas, as well as opening of an innovation exhibition at Noor Bank Metro station and a bus symbolising ‘Innovation in Motion.’

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (Dewa) is organising 30 initiatives and activities this week in collaboration with partners, universities, entrepreneurs, and innovators in water and power and also with the participation of international spokespeople who specialise in energy, sustainability and water innovation.

Some of the activities scheduled include the Government Innovation Lab, in which real-life tools will be used to promote innovation, and an ‘Innovation Exhibition’, through which Dewa’s employees, innovators and emerging companies will receive updates about the latest innovations to support Dewa’s work and have the opportunity to test these innovations.  

The exhibition will also showcase services and products which are not yet on the market, and will feature the latest research and technical concepts.
Also scheduled are inspirational talks under the title ‘I Talk’, with the participation of innovative high-profile guest speakers, who will host talks for Dewa’s staff and attending members of the public.


Young entrepreneurs with innovative and bright sustainable ideas can now expect a major helping hand through the Catalyst programme, a joint venture involving Masdar, Masdar Institute, and BP (BP).

As part of the new programme announced at Masdar City yesterday, start-up applicants who are successful will receive funding, training, and access to key industry experts and investors.

“Creating a culture of innovation requires engagement with the public, which is what the Catalyst does, providing anyone from the public who has an idea that can be turned into a company with an innovative solution,” said Dr Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar.

“We believe the people who live, work, and study here can find the best solutions,” he added.

Dr Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost of Masdar Institute, said the Catalyst programme would help move the UAE towards the knowledge-based economy the government has called for.