Enhancing the Innovation Culture for the Next 50 Years

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) declared February as the UAE Innovation Month of 2020 to promote the country’s ambitious plan to achieve a diversified knowledge economy.

The ultimate goal is realizing the country’s prosperity and sustainable development as well as to complement the government’s efforts towards the next 50 years by developing a halfcentury national action strategy plan to overcome any future challenges.

More than 1,000 innovative events were scheduled to be hosted during the Innovation Month 2020, executed by 120 government and private entities, targeting about one million people in line with the declaration of 2020 as the “Year of Preparation for the Next 50 Years.”

Besides building a knowledge economy based on innovation and modern science, UAE’s strategy for the next half-century is focussed at preparing all vital sectors for the post-oil era.

The UAE is resolute on promoting its position as one of the world’s most innovative countries in addition to improving its ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII) – UAE tops Arab countries in the 2019 GII rankings. The UAE has thus made innovation part of its way of life and administrative methodology to improve service delivery and boost economic development.

Investing in Human Capital

By applying innovation policies, the UAE government aims to achieve a number of ambitious goals such as promoting a sustainable method to invest in human capital, stimulate oilindependent economic activity and strengthen the global competitive capabilities of the country. Furthermore, the government wishes to establish the concept of innovation as an effective and permanent institutional action and culture in the country which has adopted special tools to measure and spur innovation towards a sustainable and knowledge-based economy.

In view of this, the UAE Innovation Month 2020 is intended to reinforce the collaboration between different federal and local government entities to contribute to efforts of making UAE the most innovative country in the world.

This is in addition to creating qualitative leaps towards adopting innovative ideas which would induce new solutions to future challenges. This month reflects the major developments in shaping the future to establish a qualitative change in the life of the Emiratis.

Enhancing the Sustainable Development

Needless to say, the UAE, in its innovation journey, is eagerly and continuously seeking to strengthen its capabilities in sustainable development by creating a conducive environment that nourishes an innovative and creative new generation.

This will equip the UAE labor market with the much-needed minds capable of keeping up with the future aspirations of UAE’s economic development.

The main goal of investing in innovation is to improve the Emiratis’ knowledge in sciences and technology, as well as supporting a pool of pecial fields such as space researches, specialised aviation industries, global pharmaceutical industries, solar power, civilian nuclear energy programme, robotics and others. Having this in mind, the UAE government announced its Strategy for the Fourth Industrial Revolution which aims at strengthening UAE’s position as a global hub for the fourth industrial revolution and increase the revolution’s contribution to the economy’s growth by advancing innovation and future technologies.

The results achieved by the UAE in innovation were not a
coincidence, but an outcome of precise planning and welldefined
strategy in the fields of science, technology and

UAE Hackathon is one of such national trends, which aims firstly to highlight the great value of data and the solutions they provide when dealing with everyday economic, social, environmental and scientific challenges.

Secondly, it targets the use of data to develop innovative solutions and ideas that contribute to the achievement of social development and happiness.

It also encourages the engagement of students with the participants from other community segments to prepare modern solutions by analyzing available solutions. The UAE Hackathon addresses challenges such as transportation, traffic congestion, health and safety, environment and climate change, education and gender equality, among others that relate to societal wellbeing.

The UAE is the Most Innovative

According to Institut Européen d’Administration des Affaires (INSEAD), a graduate business school with campuses in France (Europe), Middle East and North America, the UAE is the most innovative state in the Middle East due to its sound technological infrastructure and high-quality educational systems.

Among UAE’s best innovation achievements listed by the institute is the development of educational systems and enhancing the usage of computers and smart devices in schools as well as establishing more online higher education institutions along with opening many research facilities and technological institutes to promote innovation and creativity. These include Masdar City in Abu Dhabi, Dubai Science Park, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, Sharjah Institute of Science and Technology and Ras Al Khaimah’s RAK Research and Innovation Center, to name a few.

Undoubtedly, the results achieved by the UAE in innovation were not a coincidence, but an outcome of precise planning and well-defined strategy in the fields of science, technology and innovation, backed with new national policies to refocus the economy from reliance on oil resources and investing in technological, educational and financial sectors in order to witness an advanced scientific and knowledge move to the next stage.