The UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan (may Allah save him) is distinguished by its ongoing quest to excel and pioneer in all areas. Therefore, the UAE always promotes the culture of excellence, creativity and innovation as a methodology of work at all government institutions across the country.
To this extent, His Highness Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, said in his speech launching the “Abu Dhabi Entrepreneurship Forum (ADEF) 2013”: “the UAE boasts of possessing all the elements of pioneering and is committed to providing a general climate that encourages leadership, initiative and innovation and brings growth and progress the entire nation”. ADEF was recently organized by “Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development” under the patronage of His Highness General Sheikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces.
Today, the UAE realizes that establishing a society based on innovation and creativity has become a must in order to transform into knowledge economy and achieve the goals of the comprehensive and sustainable development, while also achieving excellence and leadership in all areas regionally and globally. For that reason, UAE adopted several initiatives to encourage creativity and innovation, particularly setting up the Technical Innovation City in Abu Dhabi, with support from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, to be a center for education, research and technology transfer. Besides, the UAE government sponsored a number of awards to encourage research and creativity, such as the “Young Emirati Innovators” Award, the Patent Award, and “Zayed Future Energy Prize”, the biggest prize worldwide which targets development of innovative solutions to create sustainable energy future. This complements the big attention given by the UAE government to scientific research based on innovation and creativity aiming to prepare national cadres possessing the tools of modern knowledge and capable of utilizing these tools to serve the objectives of development in all sectors.
The UAE’s keen interest to build up a society of innovation and creativity has become a tangible reality whose positive results began to reflect in its excellence in the global competitiveness indexes. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2013-2014) issued in September 2013, UAE was ranked 19th overall on the Global Competitiveness Index beating many advanced countries such as France, Ireland and Australia. On some key sub-indexes the UAE was among the top countries in the world, where it ranked 1st in roads quality, absence of organized crimes and containment of the effects of inflation.
The report clearly showed that for the eighth consecutive years the UAE has maintained its presence among the “Creativity-and-Innovation-based Economies); the highest growth level of global economies.
The progress that has been achieved by the UAE in this field resulted from the adoption of creativity and innovation methodology by government institutions across the country. In this context, the ‘Emirates Center for Strategic Studies and Research’ (ECSSR) played an outstanding role in promoting the culture of creativity and innovation through its various activities and events. ECSSR has organized last month the 4th Education Annual Conference titled “Future of Education in the UAE: Innovation and Knowledge Production’. The conference addressed the relationship between innovation-based education and the development process. H.E. Dr. Jamal Sanad Al Suwaidi, Director General of ECSSR, stressed that the new pillars of today’s economy rely heavily on science and innovation.. The society that produces knowledge and use it to serve the development process is the one to prevail on the world’s competitiveness map.