The United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) participated in the ICESCO Forum for Research Centers, which was organized by the Strategic Foresight Center of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO) during November at the organization’s headquarters in Rabat, Morocco.
Prof. Ahmed Ali Murad, Associate Provost for Research, at UAEU, presented a research paper titled “The Role of Research Centers in Achieving the National Agenda.” The paper addressed the UAEU research centers’ model role in aligning with national strategies and achieving the national agenda. He said that the UAEU has invested in the development of its infrastructure to support major transformation in research outcomes. The UAEU has state-of-the-art experimental and computational labs and information technology facilities. The research and innovation strategy 2023-2026 identified six main research themes including health and medical sciences, space science and technology, water, energy, food and agricultural sustainability, Digital technology and security, material science and manufacturing, and economics, and emerging humanities, social and economic issues.
He explained that the UAEU research centers were established based on national innovation priorities, which include renewable energy, mobility, education, health, water, technology, and space.
In addition, these research centers are in line with the principles of the 50, the UAE Centennial 2071, the National Strategy for Advanced Innovation, and Abu Dhabi’s technological priorities. They are also connected with the goals of sustainable development. The UAEU aims to be a global research university. These research centers conduct high-quality scientific research and research activities within national and strategic priorities and in full alignment to support the national agenda and the quality of life.
Dr. Ahmed Murad emphasized that the UAEU research centers aim to bridge the gap between the academic and industrial worlds, not only at the local level, but also regionally and globally. Research centers also support innovation and creativity and contribute to the development of patents. These centers conduct research that contributes to the development of science and knowledge, attracts international competencies and skills, and supports the development of international partnerships. The research centers are expected to contribute effectively and positively to the university’s global ranking and its international reputation.
UAEU has nine research centers to achieve its ambitious scientific research agenda and national research and innovation needs. The UAEU research centers include: Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan Center for Health Sciences, Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology, National Space Science and Technology Center, National Water and Energy Center, Emirates Center for Mobility Research, Big Data Analysis Center, Center for Public Policy and Leadership, Emirates Center for Happiness Research, Fatima Bint Mubarak Motherhood and Childhood Research Center. In addition, the UAEU hosts two Virtual Research Centers (VRIs) including Abu Dhabi International Precision Medicine Virtual Research Institute and Abu Dhabi International Food Security in the Drylands Virtual Research Institute.
The forum constitutes a high-level international gathering that brings together the most prominent research centers and stakeholders from different countries of the Islamic world and abroad. This forum also supports ICESCO’s efforts to promote a culture of anticipation and foresight, and to encourage intellectuals to double their efforts for better cooperation. The summit aimed to mobilize many research centers from all over the world and to bring together representatives of these centers to exchange best practices and experiences.