Abu Dhabi: The Emirates Research and Development Council, a national body representing the highest level of the UAE’s Research and Development Governance recently held its first gathering, presided by its Chairman and UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, H.H. Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Chairing the virtual Interaction, Sheikh Abdullah directed the Council to begin defining the national priorities for research and development in the UAE to enhance its contribution to the sustainable economic growth of the UAE, and support the advancement of the country’s strategic sectors.
The Council Chairman stressed on the critical nature of collaboration between the government, private and academic sectors to unlock the potential of research, development and commercialisation across different fields.
Sheikh Abdullah added that the Council will serve as the cornerstone of the UAE’s research and development ecosystem, enhancing alignment amongst the federal government, local governments, the private sector and academia, and channelling their efforts towards developing solutions to challenges and realising the nation’s vision.
The impact of the Council will not be limited to the national level, as it will also be an active actor in the integration and participation of the UAE in the global science and technology ecosystem, His Highness observed.
The UAE Minister also emphasized on the importance of research and development to the nation over the next 50 years, which underlies our knowledge-based economy, and supports the aspirations of the country.
With a broad focus on the entire spectrum of research, from fundamental research through to commercialisation, the approach to be followed in developing the national priorities was approved by the Council.
The body will also focus on key pillars of the ecosystem, highlighting the importance of fostering the national intellectual capital, developing the necessary funding models, and fostering collaborations to embed research and development as one of the key pillars of growth for the nation.
Apart from working on increasing the impact of research outputs, and placing the necessary mechanisms to deploy research outcomes across the targeted areas, the Council will also review current federal research spending and the scope of work of existing funds, to measure their outcomes and impact across the sectors of interest.
The body recognized the importance of a sustained source of funding, a focus on directed research, and an emphasis on the role that basic science plays in creating a robust R&D ecosystem.
The Council is also working very closely with the UAE’s private sector and the science community to address current regulations and policies that enable the deployment of research outcomes.
With both the research priorities and the ecosystem in focus, the Emirates Research and Development Council greenlit four committees to tackle ecosystem diagnostics and ecosystem enablement.
- Research and Development Policies Committee, to develop, review, and plan policies related to the R&D ecosystem and identifying its gaps.
- Research and Development Commercialisation Committee, to identify obstacles to commercialisation, while developing the necessary programs and partnerships to enable the deployment of research outcomes.
- Research & Development Human Capital Committee, to develop, attract, and retain scientific and research talents.
- Research and Development Ecosystem Performance Committee, to enhance the performance measurement aspects of R&D to understand the outcomes and impact on society and the economy, beyond an input-versus-output approach to measurement of R&D outcomes.
Attendees of the Council Meeting included;
- Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology
- Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education
- Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs
- Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy
- Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, Minister of Climate Change and the Environment
- Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology and the Secretary General of the Emirates Research and Development Council, and
- Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council.
Apart from these dignitaries, council members from the academic sector and research institutions as well as private sector were also present at the meeting.