The Ministry of Economy (MOE) has held a forum to encourage innovation in the UAE.
The Innovation @ UAE session brought together more than 50 industry professionals, policy makers, representatives of universities, venture capital firms, various foundations and federal and local government organizations, to discuss the UAE's innovation agenda.
The aim of the session was to provide stakeholders a platform for sharing their inputs on UAE's innovation ecosystem, to identify ways to fast track the country's innovation goals.
The session focused on efforts taken to implement various innovation initiatives across the country. It noted that as a result of its concerted efforts at spearheading innovation and creativity, the UAE increased its Global Innovation Ranking by 12 points since 2015, topping all Arab countries.
The forum discussed ways to enhance creative thinking in government organisations, universities and the private sector, while emphasizing the need to encourage effective collaboration between the private and public sectors in order to maximize the country's growth potential. Participants were asked to map current and planned initiatives, analyse the many challenges and brainstorm possible solutions. It was agreed that the main hurdle consisted in translating the various innovative ideas into action, or in other words, enhancing the country's already strong infrastructure and market sophistication for innovative outcomes.
Speaking at the event, HE Abdullah Sultan Alfan Alshamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Trade Remedies at the Ministry of Economy and the Head of the Executive Team said: "Fundamental research is key to unlocking the full potential of the UAE's innovation ecosystem", leading private and public stakeholders to collaborate on finding solutions that can boost research and development efforts in the UAE.
"Strengthening the UAE's venture capital industry can be a powerful mechanism to advance innovation outputs in the UAE."
Alshamsi also pointed out some of the solutions discussed in the workshop, as potential avenues for reform in the future.
Participants concluded that a clear focus on fundamental research, intellectual property development and innovation funding was essential for the country to strengthen its innovation ecosystem.