Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award (MBRKA), the Knowledge Summit 2019 is set to host the Award’s sixth annual instalment to honour individuals and organisations that have had significant accomplishments in producing and disseminating knowledge.
The Summit is organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Foundation (MBRF) on November 19-20, 2019, at the Dubai World Trade Centre. This year’s edition of the Award witnessed significant turnout from around the world, where submissions focused on development and innovation, developing academic and scientific research institutions, communication technology, medicine, and training human resources.
His Excellency Jamal bin Huwaireb, MBRF’s CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of MBRKA, said: “The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award has successfully established a prominent position for itself among international awards for supporting and stimulating knowledge. It bears the name of an inspiring and visionary Arab leader, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, Ruler of Dubai.”
“Over the past five years, the Award has shed light on the achievements of creative and innovative people, highlighting important projects that have helped improve communities for the better, enhancing the value of knowledge and its role in sustainable development. We are confident that the upcoming edition of the Award will bring more innovators into the limelight,” H.E. added.
In 2018, the MBRKA went to the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, an Egyptian charity NGO founded to establish a world-class medical centre in Egypt dedicated to cardiovascular surgery, treatment and research; the Institute of International Education (IIE), a non-profit global education organisation with 18 offices worldwide seeking to advance scholarship and promote cultural understanding; the Saudi Digital Library (SDL), which has the largest collection of digital resources in the Arab World; and the Amersi Foundation, which supports causes and charities for education and youth empowerment.
The previous edition in 2017 saw the MiSK Foundation win the prize. MiSK is a non-profit devoted to promoting education and leadership among young Saudis. Japanese scientist Hiroshi Komiyama also won for his contributions in innovation, developing educational institutions, and scientific research; as did Wendy Kopp, Founder of Teach For America and current CEO and Co-Founder of Teach For All. The Teach for America initiative has been ensuring, for the past 25 years, that American children of all backgrounds receive the education they deserve.
In 2016, the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award was granted to Melinda Gates, Co-Chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, for her role in expanding education opportunities and access to information technology; the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (Masdar), for its achievements in commercially viable renewable energy projects; and the Arab Thought Foundation, for its efforts to strengthen the UAE’s cultural identity and reinforce its openness to other cultures.
In 2015, meanwhile, the winners were National Geographic, one of the leading channels disseminating knowledge in the world; Hiroshi Ishiguro, Professor at Osaka University in Japan and author of over 300 research papers on robotics; and Ahmed Alshugairi, presenter of the ‘Khawatir’ television programme, popular influencer, and one of the 500 most influential persons in the Arab World.
Prior to that, in 2014, the inventor of the World Wide Web Tim Berners-Lee took home the Award, as did Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia.
The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award has set a series of future plans where it seeks to promote knowledge and its role in developing the lives of individuals, communities, and organisations, empowering them to play an active role in the development efforts of their countries. By honouring more creators and innovators who left their marks, changed human lives for the better, and created new ways to produce and disseminate knowledge around the world.