Dubai: UAE government entities with the most innovative projects and initiatives were recognised during the ‘UAE Innovates 2021’ awarding ceremony organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) at Expo 2020 Dubai Terra Sustainability Pavilion on Thursday.
The hybrid event that combined physical and virtual ceremony marked the conclusion of the UAE Innovation Month aimed at promoting and implementing innovative ideas that boost UAE’s efforts in tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to MBRCGI, over 200 projects and initiatives from federal and local government entities were submitted and evaluated. Huda Al Hashimi, Chief of Innovation and Government Strategy, earlier said “the UAE government is very keen in adopting innovation across various sectors in building a better future. The pandemic has shown us how important it is to innovate and to design new solutions for any future challenges that may arise. Governments that embrace innovation and agility as main drivers are better able to respond and cope with global challenges.”
Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, the UAE Minister of State for Happiness, handed out the awards.
The Most Innovative Use of Resources went to the UAE Ministry of Interior for its use of K9 dogs in detecting COVID-19 cases. According to results, the detection of presumed COVID-19 cases achieved at least 92 per cent accuracy. The three-phase study revealed the high rate of accuracy of dogs from the Customs’ K9 Unit in detecting coronavirus-infected patients. The final results showed a 92 per cent correlation between the PCR test results and the detections by the sniffing dogs. The initiative saved time and effort by human front-liners.
United Arab Emirates University and Department of Health — Abu Dhabi, meanwhile, received the Most Innovative Digital Transformation award for their Genome Program, a national project set to use large-scale genomic data to improve health and well-being. This ground-breaking program aims to be the first of its kind worldwide to provide citizens with their own gene as a baseline and incorporate genomic data into healthcare management. The successful outcome of the program will equip physicians and other healthcare practitioners with high quality information and knowledge, which will enable them to provide advanced diagnosis and treatment options as well as deliver personalized and preventive programmes tailored to an individual’s unique genetic makeup.
Innovative government services
Ajman Municipality and the Human Resources Department of Ras Al Khaimah government both received citations for Most Innovative Automated Government Procedure. Both entities were recognised for developing AI-driven customer feedback mechanisms.
The Most Innovative Community Services went to Abu Dhabi Municipality for creating a social communication platform that has tapped and involved the general public in decision-making by getting their suggestions.
The Most Innovative Government Process went to Dubai’s General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA), Dubai International Airport (DXB), and Emirates for utilising the latest biometric technology — a mix of facial and iris recognition that help passengers breeze through immigration procedures.
The project called “Biometric Passenger Journey” has been recently launched to create a contact-free travel journey at DXB’s 122 smart gates. The new touchpoints, which are now open for Emirates passengers travelling through and from Dubai, let travellers to check in, cross the passport control zone and board flights without coming in contact with the airline staff.
In a recent Gulf News report, Brigadier Talal Ahmad Al Shanqiti, General Director assistant of Ports Affairs in GDRFA-Dubai, said: “We have around 3,000 passengers per day using the biometric system. The smart gates were modified for the seamless journey. Passengers can choose between using the normal way of smart gates by using their Emiratis ID or by showing their faces to the gates.” “In Dubai, your passport becomes your face. In seconds, passengers can check-in and walk through the smart gates. You don’t even need to show your boarding pass or passport before stepping into the aircraft,” Brig Al Shanqiti explained to Gulf News.
Most Innovative Remote Solution
The Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) was cited for its telemedicine and health monitoring services, which have been delivering specialised care and medical advice remotely.
MoHAP’s upgraded telemedicine service includes all medical consultation services and constant follow-up, based on the audio and visual communication between patients and their attending doctors without the need to leave their homes.
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Dubai Public Prosecution was also cited for its remote court system, where cases including labour, civil, commercial and personal status matters were heard online.
The Ministry of Justice was likewise cited for it online wedding service. Muslim weddings were able to take place virtually, right from the registration of the marriage contract down to the recital of the Quran. The virtual weddings were activated in April last year.
Complete list of winners:
— Most Innovative Use of Resources: Ministry of Interior
— Most Innovative Digital Transformation: United Arab Emirates University and Department of Health — Abu Dhabi
— Most Innovative Automated Government Procedure: Ajman Municipality Human Resources Department — Ras Al-Khaimah government
— Most Innovative Community Services: Abu Dhabi Municipality
— Most Innovative Government Process: GDRFA, Dubai International Airport, Emirates
— Most Innovative Remote Solution: Ministry of Health and Prevention; Dubai Public Prosecution; Ministry of Justice