Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Supreme President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, the fourteenth edition of “Innovation Arabia” conference and exhibition was launched virtually for the first time today, and will continue until February 24, 2021, under the theme "Innovation Everywhere".
During the virtual opening of the event, H.E. Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, and Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMSU, delivered an opening speech, emphasizing the importance of innovation and creativity, especially in light of the rapid changes taking place around the world.
H.E. Lt. Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Governors of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, said: “Innovation Arabia 14 supports international efforts to create new ways to utilize, harness and adapt innovation for us to maintain and accelerate our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. The repercussions brought about by the health crisis have affected all vital global sectors, threatening public health and leading to radical socio-economic changes.”
H.E. added: “This important event comes at a time when governments around the world are striving to combat the pandemic and bring back the normal life. It focuses on innovations to ensure business continuity and job preservation while providing the highest level of security, safety and health for all.”
H.E. Tamim further stated: “As an important strategic platform, the current edition discusses how to make the most of innovation, the driving force behind immense development, based on the UAE’s experience. Thanks to the foresight and vision of our wise leadership, the UAE has been recognized as one of the countries with most efficient response to the coronavirus disease. Worldwide, the country is first in terms of daily distribution of vaccine doses and second in terms of distribution of vaccine doses per 100 people.”
H.E. concluded: “Innovation Arabia 14 brings together creative minds and experts to develop a roadmap that anticipates the future needs of the new generations. It addresses issues that will impact our tomorrow, foremost of which are the smart enablers of the future, the economy of virtual experience and crises management, business continuity, education for a better life and social innovation systems. We look forward with confidence to the outcomes of the discussions, which will pave the way for a better world for all."
From his side, Dr. Abdul Salam Al Madani, Chairman of INDEX Holding, said: “The fourteenth edition of “Innovation Arabia” conference, which is the first virtual version of the event, was met with great turnout, which in its turn reflects the importance of this event as it provides a holistic view of innovation through the five sub-topics of the conference, Which discuss crisis management and business continuity, smart future enablers, learning for better life, social innovation systems, virtual experience economy, and the new platforms for innovation and challenges facing universities, companies and government entities. I would like to extend a special thanks to His Excellency Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai, and Chairman of HBMSU Board of Governors, and His Excellency Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, for their constant support for creativity and innovation and their proactive outlook on the importance of this field and the importance of its development and encouragement in various fields.
He added, "The importance of this event comes as its position as a platform through which innovative solutions are presented and rich discussion sessions are held, bringing together the most prominent minds and innovative thinkers who recognize the importance of innovation, which is one of the basic pillars of prosperity and development."
He concluded by saying: “The collaboration between INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions - a member of INDEX Holding - and Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University is a very important one, given the tremendous success of the previous editions of “Innovation Arabia” and the great achievements we were able to achieve together throughout the years. We hope that this partnership will continue to prosper and achieve more successes and achievements."
His Excellency (H.E.) Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, said, “We are honored to launch the 14th edition of Innovation Arabia under the guidance and patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of HBMSU. The event is being held at an exceptional time as the world is currently in need of effective and innovative solutions to address current issues; explore future prospects and unleash the enormous potential that Arab countries possess so that we can use it in the move towards social and economic growth, especially now that we are facing the impacts and repercussions made by COVID-19.”
H.E. Al Awar added, “We are overwhelmed with the high amount of confidence and participation placed in Innovation Arabia by the international community. The event serves as an interactive platform designed to spread and promote the culture of innovation, which is viewed as the cornerstone of tomorrow's industry and is in line with the UAE's national directives. The UAE has made exceptional achievements that the wise leadership has described as ‘sustainable wealth and the basis for national development.’ This is widely reflected in the recent UAE achievement of being the first Arab country to enter the orbit of Mars.”
Al Awar added, “Innovation Arabia 14, which is being held under the theme, ‘Innovation Everywhere,’ reflects the HBMSU’s commitment towards promoting best practices and sharing the most successful experiences in the field of innovation--which acts as a part of solid culture and a fundamental approach towards achieving comprehensive and sustainable development goals across various parts of the world. This year's edition of the event is being held virtually for the first time and will utilize the latest technological innovations, which have been dubbed as the defining features of the twenty-first century.”
During the event opening, Dr. Meera Alreyaysa, Chair of Collaborative Research, School of Business and Quality Management, HBMSU, announced the winner of the Kano Excellence Medal, an award that encourages quality professionals in different parts of the world to continue doing the important work of facilitating the introduction of quality and excellence concepts and supporting the smooth implementation of quality improvement programs in their employer organizations. The medal went to H.E Maj. Gen. Dr. Jassim Mohammed Al Marzouqi, General Commander - Civil Defence, The Ministry of Interior, UAE.
Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, also announced the first edition of “Benchmarking Framework for Online, Open, Smart and Technology-enhanced Higher Education”, which recognizes the rising need for quality assurance in online education, while aiming to establish a common understanding and criteria for quality of online, open, smart and technology-enhanced higher education, develop a benchmarking framework that fully reflects the quality of the work of flexible, open and online institutions, and facilitate sharing of best practices.
The event kicked off with an opening session on the quality of services and business continuity after Covid-19, with the participation of H.E. Dr. Raja Al Gurg, Managing Director of the Easa Saleh Al Gurg Group, Member of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University Board of Governors, Dr. Borhene Chakroun, Director of Division for Policies and Lifelong - UNESCO, and Mr. Rami Zahran - Group Chief Marketing and Communications Officer - Saudi German Health, KSA.
In addition, the first day of “Innovation Arabia 14” witnessed the launch of the “U-Start” competition, which focuses on encouraging young entrepreneurs to establish new businesses that can adapt to the rapid changes that are occurring in the needs and requirements of the market. It is worth mentioning that the Ministry of Education in the UAE is the Strategic Partner for the “U-Start” Competition, while the prizes of the competition are sponsored by “Workiom”.
During the “U-Start” competition, many innovative project ideas developed by the participants will be presented and reviewed, especially those focusing on Artificial Intelligence, Sustainability, Health System, Information Systems and others.
The first day of the event also included many discussions and lectures that highlight innovation in various fields, which revolved around five sub-topics: crisis management and business continuity, smart future enablers, learning for better life, social innovation systems, virtual experience economy, which discussed new platforms for innovation, and the challenges facing universities, companies and government institutions. The discussions witnessed a wide participation from the attendees and received great interest due to the importance of the topics. Some of the sessions that took place were “Innovation Fueled Virtual Economy” “Envisaging the Future of Digital Health with 5G” and “AI and Shifting paradigm of Education”.
The fourteenth edition of “Innovation Arabia” witnessed a wide local and international presence, as the number of attendees reached more than 1,200 participants from various countries such as the United Arab Emirates, Nepal, India, Pakistan, the United States of America, Italy, Germany and others.
It is worth mentioning that “Innovation Arabia 14” conference and exhibition is organized by INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions- a member of INDEX Holding, in cooperation with Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University.