In conjunction with the UAE Innovation Month, Hamdan bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) organised ‘Innovation Day’ under the theme, ‘Driving the Future: Innovation for a Better Tomorrow’. The event is in line with the university’s mission to foster innovation and support national directives that endorse innovation as a key pillar for development, in accordance with the objectives of the National Innovation Strategy.
The Innovation Day’s agenda included several engaging activities and challenges, as well as interactive sessions and panel discussions on entrepreneurship, and the role of education in fuelling innovation. The event, which was held at HBMSU campus, was attended by faculty members, administrative officials, over 100 university learners, and 300 school students, in addition to several entrepreneurs and sponsors, including the Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, Lead Ventures Project Management Solutions, and Humanity Works. Participants of the program included the School of Business and Quality Management, School of e-Education (SEED), School of Health and Environmental Studies, along with other departments.
H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), said: “The UAE Innovation Month is a reflection of the keen interest and support that our wise leadership is showing in fostering an innovation-friendly environment as well as of our nation’s distinctive history of using innovation as one of the key drivers of sustainable development. At HBMSU, we firmly believe that academic institutions must go beyond their traditional educational responsibilities and work to create supportive environments that nurture and encourage innovation and creativity. In order to realise our vision of re-engineering the future and leading the transformation towards a more flexible educational ecosystem, we will continue to implement initiatives and organise events that will highlight the significance of innovation, which also aligns with the national directives to support talented learners and enhance their skills.”
Dr. Shaima Al Harmoodi, Assistant Professor, School of Business and Quality Management, at HBMSU, said: “HBMSU’S Innovation Day fits with the university’s commitment to assisting in the accomplishment of the objectives of national strategies and visions, and strengthening the role of innovation as a key tool to improve the education landscape. The event attracted a large audience and used interactive techniques that reflected the university's expertise in offering a learning ecosystem that supports learners' participation and improves their entrepreneurship, decision making, and problem-solving abilities.”
Abdulaziz Mohammed Al Shehhi, CEO for Innovation, Federal Authority for Identity, Citizenship, Customs and Port Security, said: “The fundamental human needs continue to evolve daily, due to the rapid technological and industrial developments. Meeting these needs and ensuring a high standard of living can only be accomplished through innovation and optimisation of available resources. Recognising the critical role of innovation in ensuring growth, advancement, and prosperity, our wise leadership has taken the initiative to promote an innovative culture among community members, as well as in the public and private sectors.”
Al Shehhi added: “Any entity seeking to establish itself as a leader must combine innovation and efficiency, as it guarantees increased productivity, growth, and success. The significance of innovation can be seen in the world's pioneering and fastest-growing institutions, which have successfully equipped themselves to promote unique and innovative solutions that ensure steady growth and development in an evolving world."
Innovation Day commenced with the ‘School Students Innovation Challenge,’ which saw the participation of over 300 school students. Participants were divided into five groups and teams of three learners from each school to compete. The challenge included 20 questions on various aspects of innovation in the UAE, giving participants an interactive opportunity to learn more about innovations and innovators. All winning teams were awarded at the end of the competition.
As part of the second activity, the university provided an instant idea pitch platform to assist the learners’ viability to develop innovative solutions to a real-life problem without prior preparation. During this challenge, all learners were given 20 minutes to come up with their ideas and three minutes to present them. A voting system identified the most innovative ideas from a large audience. Additionally, the event featured an exhibition area, which provided display spaces for each school to showcase their innovative projects and products.
The activities of HBMSU's Innovation Day came to an end with a circle talk titled ‘Innovation for Entrepreneurship: An Opportunity or a Threat?’. Eminent speakers from various fields such as technology, healthcare, logistics, and F&B discussed the impact of innovation on starting new businesses, the associated challenges, insights to move forward, and strategies to succeed.
It is notable that HBMSU’s initiatives and activities for The UAE Innovation Month 2023 covered a diverse range of topics. In addition to the Innovation Day events, the university also celebrated the graduation of the UAE Technophiles’ Program this month, which was co-hosted by the Emirates Society for the Talented. As part of its ongoing efforts to align programs with national policies to strengthen the UAE’s standing as one of the world’s most innovative nations, the university also launched the free ‘ChatGPT in Smart Learning’ program for learners to highlight the applications’ tools.