Abu Dhabi: Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first research university focused on AI, and Silal, an agri-food company based in Abu Dhabi, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the sideline of COP28. It aims to bring AI innovation to agriculture and food production.
The agreement will support the creating of a joint AI Center of Excellence with the potential to enable the UAE to develop and expand its food production sector while improving food security and sustainability.
MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Mr. Sultan Al Hajji, and Mr. Salmeen Alameri, Silal’s Chief Executive Officer, signed the MoU during the COP28 Thematic Day: Food, Agriculture, and Water. Under the agreement, MBZUAI and Silal will conduct joint research to accelerate the use of AI in farming and food systems and exchange technical knowledge, expertise, and resources.
MBZUAI and Silal will also provide a framework for the transfer and commercialization of research, including support for startups and business spinouts with the potential to raise efficiency, production, and innovation in the UAE’s food sector.
“MBZUAI and Silal will work together to develop AI innovation for agriculture and food production by creating new opportunities to combine our resources, and develop and commercialize research, empowering the sector to produce quality food in the most sustainable way possible,” Mr. Al Hajji remarked.
“This partnership comes in line with the National Strategy for Food Security 2051, which aims to develop a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production using modern technologies and enhance local production,” Mr. Al Hajji added.
Experts have identified several important use cases for deploying AI in the agricultural sector, such as predictive insights related to weather data, crop output, and pricing predictions. AI also has a key role in advancing phenotyping and crop discovery, enabling farmers to identify genes with the most suitable traits to withstand disease, pests, and the impact of climate change faster and more effectively.