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 2016 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 June 2016, NASA and the UAE Space Agency signed a strategic cooperation agreement on aeronautics research and outer space exploration. 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 more than 7,000 Americans in the Northeast US, 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. Recognizing Dubai’s potential as a hub for innovation and a gateway to global markets, DC-based start-up incubator 1776 recently opened a campus in Dubai. "Dubai is increasingly becoming a place where entrepreneurs want to be,” said 1776 co-founder Evan Burfield.