February 24, 2022 – Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University, HBMSU concluded the 15th edition of the Innovation Arabia Conference and Exhibition recently. The event was attended by H.E Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of HBMSU’s Board of Governors, and H.E. Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU and Head of Innovation Arabia Summit, in addition to a large panel of international experts and decision makers.
In line with this year’s theme ‘Innovation Everywhere’, the conference emphasised the widespread use of digital technologies that have enhanced services and enabled innovations, driving advancements in innovative education methods. In addition, the event served as an integrated platform for achieving strategic goals in accordance with the directives of the UAE’s wise leadership on topics such as future development and strengthening the UAE’s role as a leader in innovation and development. Over 2,000 individuals from over 20 countries participated in Innovation Arabia 15, in addition to over 30 speakers from a range of disciplines. Furthermore, the meeting also featured experts from various fields presenting more than 200 research papers and 133 presentations.
H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of HBMSU’s Board of Governors, said: “Innovation Arabia 15 demonstrates the vision of the UAE’s wise leadership, in promoting innovation as the philosophy of life in advancing the country’s innovative journey. As a part of this vision, significant initiatives and projects are underway – the latest one being the ‘Museum of the Future’, hailed as the most beautiful building on earth. The building represents an integral part of the modern UAE in accordance with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, and encourages us to constantly improve and innovate.”
“HBMSU is committed to supporting and promoting creative ideas from Arab countries and around the world. As a leading educational institution that sees innovation as a vital component of its smart learning strategy, the university provides individuals with a safe space to express ideas and opinions about significant and international issues,” H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi added.
Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, acknowledged the strategic partnership with INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions, and stated: “Our partnership with INDEX Conferences and Exhibitions was instrumental to the conference. HBMSU is proud of the success of the 15th edition of Innovation Arabia, demonstrating our commitment to preparing future leaders and cultivating young talent, while adhering to its unique approach as a leading academic institution and a leader in smart education in the region. The event served as a platform where young talents could learn from experts from various fields, in order to come up with innovative solutions and exchange ideas in an interactive environment that helps young minds grow.”
The Innovation Arabia 15 summit also honoured the winners of its competitions, such as U-Start, a nationwide competition for entrepreneurs, with the Robosafe project by Mohammad Faieq, Hajer Ben Mnaouer, and Issraa Ben Mnaouer from the Canadian University obtaining first place, followed by the Marine Hook project by Asla Abdul Azeez from HBMSU and the ICAS project by Tanveer Ahmed Yadgir, Jason Perkins, Hadeel Hadidi, and Dr. Ahmed Samir from the Fatima College of Health Sciences winning second and third places respectively. The summit further honoured the winners of Scientific Research Awards, in addition to the winners of Best Learner’s Presentations, namely: Kholoud Hussain of HBMSU, for her presentation ‘Digitising the HR Processes in Governmental Organisations – A Study of Dubai’, Amel Alsaady of HBMSU, for her presentation ‘Sponsoring Talents: Reasons and Outcomes’, along with Ayesha Al Ali, Fatema Al Hammadi, Hajar Alkaabi, Majid Alshaer, Mouza Almakhmari, and Nada Bin Took for their presentation ‘Testing CEAI tool in the UAE: A Case Study of Etihad Airways.’
Furthermore, the summit also recognised the winners of the Best Research Paper category, which included Awoniyi Awofeso of HBMSU, Ajrina Hysaj of University of Wollongong in Dubai, Sanjay Nadkarni, and Florian Kriechbaumer, followed by specials mentions of the summit’s sponsors and partners. A discussion on the Metaverse was also held between journalist Manal Al Khatib and professor Manahel Thabet, President of the World IQ Foundation, fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine in London, and a doctorate in quantum mathematics. Thabet is ranked among the 30 smartest people alive by SuperScholar.
The Innovation Arabia 15’ summit also featured a panel discussion for innovators, covering the most prominent contributions made to the community, to motivate and inspire individuals to innovate. The speakers included Ahmed Majan, an Emirati inventor and President of the UAE Inventors Association, who holds patents for the smart elderly crutch and smart saddle used in racehorse training. He was joined by Majid Al Zarooni, lecturer, professional photographer, and inventor of several innovations relating to security in the Ministry of the Interior, such as Emirates Sniper, Flying Traffic Patrol, and hologram technology for meeting rooms.
The list also included Salim Al Kaabi, chemical engineer, and founder of Lubanium, a startup company established in conjunction with Expo 2020 Dubai, and the first business of its kind manufacturing environment-friendly products from Arabic frankincense. Furthermore, the company has developed an automatic system which produces varnish from frankincense through environment-friendly means – a technology that won the ‘Global Energy and Environment Award’ in 2020. The award recognizes companies that contribute to reducing carbon emissions in the world.
Innovation Arabia 15 was held in three phases, with the first virtual conference being held on November 23, 2021. The conference explored the theme ‘Innovation for Quality of Digital Services’ and presented a space for experts, intellectuals, and innovative thinkers to discuss the relevance of innovation and digital services, and their role as essential pillars to prosperity and development. The conference held several activities and discussion panels, followed by the U-Start Competition, where intellectuals and young entrepreneurs presented innovative ideas and projects in response to modern issues.
The second virtual conference was held on December 8, 2021, themed ‘Learning for Skills’ and aimed to examine the importance of skill-based learning in higher education, developing graduates with the right skills for their careers, and providing opportunities for the workforce to develop their skills in the future. Key participants in the conference included H.E. Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Care and Capacity Building Sector at the Ministry of Education, along with Prof. Stephen Murgatroyd, CEO of Collaborative Media Group, George Ubachs, Managing Director at EADTU, and Dr. Sara Almarzooqi.
The third virtual conference, themed ‘Innovation Systems for Sustainability’, was held on January 25, 2022, and featured several panel discussions as well as research presentations, which focused on crucial issues regarding sustainability. Mousa Mohamed Al Raeisy, Director of Technology Strategy and Governance department, RTA, UAE, spoke at the conference about the significance of innovation for a greener infrastructure, followed by Joelle Saab from Dulsco, the Official Waste Management Partner of Expo 2020 Dubai. Saab talked about the critical importance of waste management and a recycling economy for a sustainable society.
The 15th edition of Innovation Arabia concluded on a high note, as experts from diverse fields came together to exchange ideas and honour key contributors. Furthermore, the conference ended with HBMSU announcing the 16th edition of Innovation Arabia, set for February 2023, under the theme ‘Learning for Skills.’