UAE: A Global Hub for Innovation
The UAE is taking an innovative approach to address 21st century challenges. In fact, the UAE is the number one environment for innovation in the Arab World, according to the 2018 Global Innovation Index. The country’s National Innovation Strategy encourages new thinking and groundbreaking solutions in seven priority sectors: renewable and clean energy, transportation, technology, education, health, water and space.
From aerospace to defense to high-tech, innovative UAE-US partnerships are helping drive growth and development in both countries. In July 2018, the UAE Space Agency and NASA signed a letter of intent to cooperate on manned space exploration, strengthening a partnership that began with a strategic cooperation agreement on aeronautics and outer space research in 2016. Lockheed Martin’s Center For Innovation And Security Solutions in Abu Dhabi facilitates public-private partnerships and provides trainings for Emirati youth. And Mubadala-owned semiconductor maker GlobalFoundries, which employs nearly 3,000 people in Upstate New York, manufactures crucial technology used in computers and mobile devices.
These collaborations reflect the UAE’s broader commitment to innovation. In addition, the $540 million Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund finances projects and supports innovation-friendly reforms and infrastructure improvements. Every UAE government department now has a Chief Innovation Officer, and system-wide education reforms prioritize STEM curriculum and Research & Development. And in 2018, the UAE held the first-ever UAE Innovation Month, a joint public-private celebration of Emirati innovation and one of the world’s largest innovation festivals.