October 16, 2017: Sharjah Research Technology Innovation Park (SRTIP), an initiative of the American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE), is set to organize its first forum on research and development (R&D), the ‘Regional R&D Funding and Commercialization Forum,' which will be held on November 9, 2017 at the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The event will explore investment prospects in the sector as part of a larger goal to increase R&D's contribution to the UAE's gross domestic product (GDP).
R&D is viewed as an essential foundation in building a highly-productive knowledge economy by 2021. Sharjah is committed to promote and strengthen the UAE's leadership on the international map as number one in the MENA region and 35th worldwide in the Global Innovation Index 2017. The growth of the country's R&D to GDP ratio rose to 24 per cent in 2017 in the wake of government policies that support the establishment of a comprehensive and integrated system to make innovation an integral aspect in building the UAE's future.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO, SRTIP, said that under the directives of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, President of the American University of Sharjah, and Chairman of the American University of Sharjah Enterprises, the forum will provide a strategic platform for exploring the best investment prospects for the government and private sectors as well as for the academic and research communities in the sciences, technology, and research. It also aims to meet the strategies of the National Agenda for developing a highly-productive and knowledge-based economy in line with UAE Vision 2021.
Al Mahmoudi said: “Research and development continue to gain importance as part of the deliberate efforts to place the UAE among the world's most advanced in terms of competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship and development. In this light, we seek to fully contribute in further stimulating and developing the economy, particularly in Sharjah and the UAE, by promoting innovation, research, the sciences and technologies to become key pillars of the national economy. SRTIP leverages its position to contribute to economic diversification and open huge opportunities for national institutions to become part of the digital revolution, technological transformation, and economic competitiveness. It aims to expand its reach to propagate initiatives that fully support the process of research and development.”
“We are confident that the forum will establish a solid foundation for consolidating the efforts of the government, the business community, as well as the academic, research and scientific communities to further develop creativity and innovation in the country to support inclusive and sustainable development. We will strive to continuously move forward in promoting competitiveness in scientific research, technology, and innovation at the regional and international levels by enhancing the partnership between the public and private sectors in R&D and innovation,” Al Mahmoudi concluded.
The agenda of the forum comprises two sessions, with the first themed ‘Connecting the Dots: Understanding R&D Funding and Commercialization Opportunities' and the second to discuss the ‘The Role of the Regional Private Sector in Fostering R&D and Commercialization.' Top-level governmental officials, decision makers, executive directors, as well as distinguished academics and researchers are expected to attend the forum.