Dubai: The UAE considers scientific and technological advancement as a key driver for future development, the Minister of State for Advanced Sciences has said.
Sara Al Amiri, who is an accomplished engineer, said the foundations have been established for research-driven institutions to spur a nationwide technological revolution.
Her remarks came during a ‘Meet the CEO’ event organised by the Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO). ‘Meet the CEO’ is a regular series of press events organised by GDMO for leaders of prominent organisations in the UAE. Both local and international media attended the event.
Noora Al Abbar, director of strategic media affairs at GDMO, welcomed Al Amiri to the ‘Meet the CEO’ event.
The creation of the new ministerial position reflects the importance given by the country to advanced sciences, Al Amiri said.
“The objective of this session was to gain a deeper understanding of the UAE’s strategy for science and technology development that seeks to activate a stronger role for advanced sciences in our national growth and development, and the effort to enhance the happiness of the people — top priorities for the UAE government,” she added.
Al Amiri said the UAE wants both current and aspiring scientists to take on future challenges to catalyse growth in key sectors, including aviation, logistics, and tourism.
“Growth and sustainable development based on technological advancements is the way forward.”
She highlighted the message of His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, calling on scientists to develop innovative solutions in the areas of food and water security, information technology, and renewable energy. “For example, pioneering initiatives and scientific research pave the way for the UAE to become a world leader in the areas of quality of life and health care,” Al Amiri said.
Speaking on the role of advanced sciences in sustainable development, Al Amiri highlighted initiatives and projects launched under the UAE’s scientific strategy, outlined in the UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial 2071.
“Such initiatives include the launch of the Mohammad Bin Rashid Academy of Scientists, which represents a platform for the science community in the UAE. The Academy brings together a selection of scientists and experts to foresee the future of science and technology.”
The minister also said that the coming three years will see the launch of a number of initiatives in the scientific research field. “We will witness the introduction of ‘scientific diplomacy’ that will see enhanced cooperation between the UAE and international research institutions. We are also working on an initiative to attract talent to work on solutions to improve the quality of life and services to the community,” she added.
In this context, Al Amiri underlined the importance of the new visa system that eases visa requirements for scientists. “The Ministry of Education also plans to establish a research fund to cater to universities across the country. This will play an important role in encouraging talented students to tackle challenges and come up with solutions. In the long run, this will constitute the core of a new drive for research-based development.”
Al Amiri said that the first 100-day plan of the ministry focuses on the creation of an environment that can catalyse the development of the knowledge-based economy, enhance productivity and competitiveness, and increase national funding for scientific research.