Dubai: The UAE's Open Labs initiative was launched hereto allow researchers and scientists to have access to the most advanced laboratory equipment, create an environment for them to exchange knowledge, expertise and results — while reducing the cost of research.
The Open Labs platform was launched on Monday night by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
He said: “The UAE is offering a leading global model for the perfect investment in human potential and providing a scientific environment and research infrastructure that allows great minds to innovate pre-emptive solutions to major challenges facing humanity, constituting a knowledgeable addition to the region and greater world, in line with the UAE Vision 2021 and its Centennial Plan 2071.”
First of its kind in UAE
He added: “Today we have launched the UAE Open Labs, the first of its kind in the UAE. It will allow researchers and scientists to access the most advanced laboratory equipment, and create an environment for scientists to exchange knowledge, expertise and scientific results.”
“Through this initiative, we are announcing that the UAE has been turned into an open-air laboratory, a beacon for advanced sciences and their applications as well as a scientific innovation environment for shaping the future of the UAE,” Shaikh Mohammad said.
Open Labs: What it is
The Open Labs initiative is a platform that represents a gathering of major research institutions in the UAE.
It aims to provide an advanced research environment and outstanding infrastructure to improve the country's scientific sectors by reducing the cost of research activities by 30 per cent.
It also aims to establish an integrated working system that is based on a solid foundation of activities by scientific research institutions through effective partnerships with leading international research centres.
The platform strives to attract and encourage highly qualified scientists and motivate individuals, including students and all those interested in science to participate in the development of scientific research methods and empower researchers to find cooperation opportunities in the field.
Shaikh Mohammad said: “We urge our scientists to continue research and advancement so as to consolidate our achievements and restore the region’s role as an essential partner in knowledge production, raise the intellectual level and pursue scientific efforts to raise the UAE’s scientific stature on the global stage.”
He added: “Our message is human happiness and progress and the utilisation of advanced science is the main way to achieve that. We are confident that our scientists, youth and the scientific community in the UAE will constitute a milestone in the journey of human knowledge and advanced sciences. We will see the applications of advanced science in the service of our citizens and all residents.”
Link between labs, scientists
The platform will link state laboratories to scientists and experts to ensure the production of knowledge in the country’s investment in specialised laboratories to raise the productivity of research institutions. The platform will work to increase the proportion of operating scientific devices and unifying research capacity in the UAE.
The platform features six major research institutions in the UAE, including the Mohammad Bin Rashid Space Centre, Khalifa University, UAE University, American University of Sharjah (AUS), the Abu Dhabi Department of Energy, and the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA).
The platform offers an opportunity for the scientific community in the UAE to have direct and quick access to more than 150 research devices throughout the country.
It gives scientists access to world-class research equipment, with the aim of enhancing local research effort, supporting researchers and academics, and encouraging scientific research and development of scientific and technological capacity in the UAE.
The platform is an initiative of the Emirates Scientists Council (ESC), in charge of creating a supportive environment for research and scientists as part of the UAE Advanced Science Agenda 2031, which was launched by Shaikh Mohammad in early April 2018.