The National Innovation Strategy
The National Innovation Strategy was launched in 2014 by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform the UAE into one of the world’s most innovative countries in the next seven years.
The Strategy’s four main parallel tracks cover 30 national initiatives to be implemented in a span of three years. These tracks are as follows:
- Establishment of an innovation-friendly environment. This can be achieved by building a corporate environment conducive to creativity and innovation; enacting legislations supporting innovation incubators; focusing on research and development; and creating an integrated technological infrastructure supporting innovation in all local sectors.
- Mechanism development to promote innovation in the government sector. The mechanisms should transform and professionalize the government business processes based on result-oriented goals; and help establish an integrated system using modern tools to promote innovation in all government bodies. The track also enjoins all government entities to earmark 1 per cent of their total spending in innovative projects and relevant training and educational programs.
- Private sector engagement to foster a culture of innovation. This will result in the formation of innovation and scientific research centers and adoption of new technologies. Private companies are urged to embark on ambitions ventures to develop innovative products and services. The country will also seek to collaborate with the world’s most innovative companies involved in areas of national priorities.
- Capacity building and competency enhancement. The fourth track focuses on skills enhancement of the country’s human resources in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Innovation-related educational courses will be introduced in schools and universities.
The UAE Innovation Week
The UAE Innovation Week was launched in August 2015 in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in line with the initiative of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, declaring 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation.’
The initiative enabled public and private sectors as well as the general public to contribute to ongoing national efforts fostering a culture of innovation in local society in a bid to transform the UAE into a global hub for innovation.