Sheikh Mohammed launches the 'National Innovation Strategy'
A seven year plan for the UAE
he National Innovation Strategy, announced yesterday by Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, will focus on seven sectors over the next seven years – renewable energy, transport, education, health, technology, water and space.
Sheikh Mohammed explained that the first phase includes 30 national initiatives to be completed within three years including, "new legislation, innovation incubators, investment in specialised skills, private-sector incentives, international research partnerships, and an innovation drive within government."
"THE UAE IS ALREADY THE MOST INNOVATIVE ARAB NATION. OUR TARGET IS TO BE AMONG THE MOST INNOVATIVE NATIONS IN THE WORLD." – sheikh mohammed
The highly-respected and peace promoting leader is quoted as saying: "The UAE is already the most innovative Arab nation. Our target is to be among the most innovative nations in the world. The competitiveness race demands a constant flow of new ideas, as well as innovative leadership using different methods and tools to direct the change.
"This innovation strategy is a national priority for our programme of development and progress. It is a primary tool to achieve Vision 2021 and an engine for the growth of distinctive skills and capabilities across the nation. We have always called for creativity in every field: this strategy is a concrete step to implement that vision. These initiatives around innovation will enhance quality of life in the UAE and take our economy to new horizons."
The strategy works along four parallel tracks. The first will anchor a stimulating environment for innovation in the form of supportive institutions and laws, while the second will develop government innovation by institutionalising innovative practices with the support of an integrated system of modern tools.
The third track will encourage private sector innovation by stimulating companies to establish innovation and scientific research centres, to adopt new technologies, and to develop innovative products and services, and the fourth will qualify individuals with highly innovative skills by concentrating on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including the creation of educational material for schools and universities.
THE AIM IS TO ESTABLISH A NATIONAL CULTURE THAT ENCOURAGES INNOVATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP THROUGH PARTNERSHIPS BETWEEN THE PUBLIC, PRIVATE AND MEDIA SECTORS
"Innovation today is driven by effective institutions, strong policies, specialised skills, and an economy where all sectors work together to discover new ways to conduct business. A flexible and creative economy based on a national culture of innovation is the fastest and most sustainable way to reinforce the UAE's competitiveness on a global level." Sheikh Mohammed added.
Global 'indicators' include an overall measure comparing countries' innovation capabilities, plus indicators for the protection of intellectual property, the creation of patents and the availability of scientists and engineers.