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Advanced Technology Research Council awards AED40 mn in competitive research funding to 53 R & D projects across eight key sectors

ABU DHABI, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching entity mandated to shape Abu Dhabi’s R & D strategy and its advanced technology ecosystem and drive the UAE’s strategic research priorities, today announced that it has awarded AED40 million in research funding to 53 successful R & D projects across eight key sectors in 2021.

Managed by ASPIRE, ATRC’s technology programme management pillar – through its two programmes – ASPIRE Award for Research Excellence (AARE) and ASPIRE Young Investigator Award (AYIA) – the grant funding is being allocated to entities in the Aerospace, Education and Social Sciences, Energy, Environment, Food and Agriculture, Health, ICT and Manufacturing sectors.

Speaking on the funding, Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC, said: "As a core foundational priority for the Council, we are delighted to play our part in collaboration with the country’s higher education institutions, in incubating research projects that will contribute to the greater good and encourage sustainable progress in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and beyond. ATRC congratulates the winners and commends all the participants for the exceptionally high standard of entries to the ASPIRE programmes this year."

Dr. Arthur Morrish, CEO of ASPIRE, said: "ASPIRE will manage the distribution of the grants to our two key research-enabling programmes that aim to foster a healthy spirit of competition and bring to the forefront the most worthwhile and cutting-edge projects. Such projects can now transition seamlessly from concept to completion and lab to market without interruption to ensure transformative global impact."

The grant awardees were picked from 370 proposals across the two programmes. AARE and AYIA are ongoing initiatives run by ASPIRE to boost synergies with research communities, accelerate the growth of the Abu Dhabi research and development ecosystem and position the emirate as an innovation hub.

An international pool of peer reviewers from leading research institutions around the world whittled down the sizeable number of initial proposals based on criteria such as research quality and originality, feasibility of the proposal, relevance to strategic sectors in Abu Dhabi, qualifications of applicants, potential impact on the sector and human capital development. In addition, due weightage was accorded to entries that demonstrated collaboration with industry, as well as inter-institutional and STEM education engagement.

The AARE grant was open to all full-time faculty in Higher Education Institutes geographically located within the emirate of Abu Dhabi and is growing from strength to strength.

Meanwhile, the AYIA programme funding totalling AED1 million is allocated to six outstanding research proposals in targeted thematic areas. The competitive funding programme was open to young researchers in Abu Dhabi who are within six years of obtaining their terminal degree (PhD or equivalent).

Research funded by the two programmes is anticipated to advance scientific and technological development within Abu Dhabi, as well as foster meaningful partnerships between scientists in Abu Dhabi and leading academic and industrial stakeholders at a national and global level.

Following its launch in November 2020, ASPIRE, ATRC’s technology programme management pillar, continues to nurture the research ecosystem through its corporate R & D programmes and frames grand competitions that contribute to advancing innovation and solving Abu Dhabi’s unique challenges as well as supporting the development of new technologies.

ASPIRE is a key partner of "XPRIZE Feed the Next Billion" Competition, funded by Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi's accelerator programme.

The US$15 million competition aims to find alternative protein solutions to end global hunger and strengthen food security. More recently, ASPIRE has announced that it will host the upcoming edition of the US$3 million MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge that aims to find real-time solutions to maritime safety and security challenges.

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Chery Tiggo 7 Pro Max: A Global Sensation of Power, Elegance, and Innovation in the Competitive SUV Arena

In the intensely competitive automotive landscape, the Chery Tiggo series continues to make
waves globally, serving as a pivotal force in Cherys overall development. The Tiggo 7 Pro Max, as the flagship SUV model, has garnered widespread acclaim for its strength, becoming the
preferred choice among discerning users. This SUV, a harmonious blend of mechanical prowess and striking aesthetics, embodies Chery’s latest family-style design concept. Its front face features a distinctive six-sided diamond-shaped grille, adorned with bright stars that evoke the brilliance of diamonds. The blackened grid details echo the black lattice matrix LED headlights with a unique dynamic steering design, setting it apart in its class. The T-shaped crystal-transparent LED front fog lamps and an exclusive side mark on the front fender add a touch of elegance and instant recognition. Moving seamlessly to the profile, the Tiggo 7 Pro Maxs powerful stance is characterized by horizontal and square upper waistlines and dynamic round lower waistlines. This design imparts a sense of speed and strength, enhanced by the sky-dome floating roof design that raises the visual height laterally. Complementing this, the vehicle is equipped with 18-inch super-large sports wheels, catering to the driving aspirations of younger consumers while effectively
managing tire noise for an enhanced driving experience. At the rear, the integrated crescent-shaped LED taillight stretches horizontally, presenting an advanced technological aesthetic. The roof-mounted integrated load-bearing glare luggage rack, with rhythmic pulsating lights, not only adds a touch of youthful vigor when illuminated but also underscores the Tiggo 7 Pro Max’s commitment to both form and function. Behind this refined appearance lies Chery’s latest technology, elevating the Tiggo 7 Pro Maxs strength and capabilities. Every aspect has been meticulously improved, from power and space to technology and safety. This infusion of innovation and confidence propels the Tiggo 7 Pro Max to the forefront of the global SUV market, securing its position as a leader with not just leading sales figures but also widespread praise from users worldwide. Excitingly, from December 2023, the Tiggo 7 Pro Max will be available in the UAE, starting at AED 82,500, offering enthusiasts in the region the opportunity to experience firsthand the pinnacle of Chery’s automotive excellence.

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Al Wathba National Insurance Company Brings New CEO on Board

Al Wathba National Insurance Company (AWNIC) announced a major shift in its leadership, with the appointment of Mr. Frederik Bisbjerg as the new Chief Executive Officer, effective November 13, 2023. Mr. Bisbjerg succeeds Mr. Bassam Chilmeran, who has aptly led the company for over two decades, will take on a strategic advisory role on the Board upon his retirement.
A renowned figure in the insurance sector, Mr. Bisbjerg has a proven record of substantial expertise and leadership in digital transformation—a key element that aligns with AWNICs strategic growth plan, which received unanimous support from the Board of Directors. Mr. Bisbjerg’s appointment marks a continuation of AWNIC’s commitment to industry leadership and
innovation. The company looks forward to advancing its mission under his leadership, striving to set new benchmarks for the insurance sector.
Commenting the appointment, Mr. Bisbjerg said: “AWNIC is a very solid company with an enormous potential to grow and actively change the face of the insurance industry in the UAE – I am looking forward to working with my colleagues and the industry to create the future of insurance together”. Born in Denmark, Frederik Bisbjerg boasts a vast expertise in digital transformation and business model innovation in the insurance industry. With a career in the Middle East since 2013, Frederik exemplifies dynamic leadership and strategic vision.
Prior to joining AWNIC, Mr. Bisbjerg held significant positions spanning major organizations like AXA Global Healthcare and The Digital Insurer. As Head of MENA and Digital Transformation specialist at Digital Insurer, he was a founding member of the world’s first mini-MBA in Digital Insurance. He also served as Senior Vice President of Digital Transformation amp Innovation at Daman National Health Insurance Company, where he spearheaded the company’s digital transformation initiatives, establishing a digital-first flexible and resilient insurance company. He served as Executive Vice President for Qatar Insurance Group (QIC), the largest composite insurer in the MENA region and one of the largest insurers in Asia. Mr. Bisbjerg is an acclaimed speaker, particularly in the realms of the future of insurance, business innovation and digital adoption. He is also the author of  “Insurance _Next,”a practical guide on the
post-Covid-19 insurance transformation guide.

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AIT Worldwide Logistics plans to increase global footprint with Lubbers Logistics Group acquisition

AIT Worldwide Logistics, a leading provider of global supply chain solutions, has entered into a binding purchase agreement to acquire Lubbers Logistics Group, a European logistics company specializing in high-value, complex, and time-sensitive transport services. The purchase will serve as a significant milestone for AIT as the company continues to expand its global reach and enhance its offerings in road transportation, freight forwarding, and project cargo logistics, particularly in the energy sector. Over the past century, Lubbers, headquartered in Schoonebeek, Netherlands, has established itself as a leading provider of top-tier transportation solutions for high-value segments,
specializing in road transport, project cargo and global freight forwarding services. With more
than 377 employees working across nine road transport hubs and nine freight locations, Lubbers
boasts an extensive network of strategically located facilities throughout Europe.
“Lubbers robust one-stop shop approach and their long-standing relationships with industry-
leading customers make them an excellent fit for AIT,” said AIT’s Chief Business Officer, Greg
Weigel. “We see significant potential for their broad network by growing freight forwarding
operations and energy sector expertise to further enhance AIT’s world-class customer
experience. We’re also excited to boost our end-to-end solutions with middle mile service in
Europe as a counterpart to our recently launched U.S. Middle Mile Network.”
Lubbers network will add 18 new offices to AIT’s existing global network of more than 125
locations, while expanding AIT’s footprint to four new countries: Denmark, Norway, Romania
and Turkey. Lubbers also has facilities in Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom.
“Joining forces with AIT Worldwide Logistics is a strategic move that will allow us to continue
providing exceptional service to our clients while expanding our reach on a global scale,” said
Lubbers’ CEO, Gary Roche. “AITs strong track record and commitment to customer service
align with our values, and we look forward to a bright future together.”
“We are looking forward to welcoming Lubbers to the AIT network,” said AIT’s Chairman and
CEO, Vaughn Moore. “This deal will enhance our position in Europe and bolster our presence in
the energy sector, allowing us to better serve current customers while creating new opportunities.
Lubbers’ customer-centric approach to business, as well as their reputation for excellent quality
aligns perfectly with AIT’s culture.”

AIT;s acquisition of Lubbers is expected to be finalized by the end of 2023 and will be subject to
obtaining customary regulatory approvals. Terms have not been disclosed.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP and NautaDutilh N.V. are both serving as legal counsel to AIT on the
acquisition. Nielen Schuman B.V. is serving as the financial advisor to Lubbers. Loyens & Loeff N.V. is serving as legal counsel to Lubbers.

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