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ATRC announces new commercialisation arm, three new specialised research centres

ABU DHABI, 5th January, 2022 (WAM) — Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching entity mandated to shape Abu Dhabi’s advanced technology R & D ecosystem, today announced the launch of VentureOne, a new commercialisation arm to bring innovative research solutions to market at speed, and monetise all IP being generated at TII’s centres and beyond.

Three specialised advanced technology research centres – in Propulsion, Alternative Energy, and Biotechnology – were also launched to coincide with ATRC’s first anniversary celebrations, bringing the total number of deep-tech research entities within its umbrella to 10.

VentureOne is to help facilitate IP creation, strengthen the start-up ecosystem, and boost the market viability of the research breakthroughs to ensure that they go mainstream and impact the broadest cross-section of the global population.

The three new research centres are set to add value to the thriving advanced technology ecosystem already in place in Abu Dhabi while strengthening its credibility as a preferred R & D hub that attracts global experts and nurtures local STEM talent to carry out ground-breaking research.

With aerospace and space becoming key national priorities for the UAE, the Propulsion Research Centre is engaged in technologies that enable aerial vehicles to increase performance with regard to speed and range, fuel efficiency, emissions, noise, landing field length and handling.

Meanwhile, as the impact of climate change reaches critical levels, the Alternative Energy Research Centre is focused on enabling water security and ensuring improved and varied tech applications.

Based on the experiences of the last two years, the Biotechnology Research Centre is engaged in strengthening the UAE’s R & D capabilities in genetic engineering, biomaterials, and autonomous devices, to name a few core areas. The breakthrough solutions the centre is working on will add immense value in the food and agriculture as well as healthcare sectors.

Speaking about the new centres, Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), said, "We commend the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for his unwavering support and direction in establishing a transformative R & D hub in Abu Dhabi.

"There was initial scepticism about the ability of a young entity to achieve what many established research hubs have been unable to do – attract global talent and patent breakthrough solutions right here to give the country greater autonomy in the advanced technology space."

Al Bannai also noted that ATRC’s growth plans for TII, its applied research pillar, and ASPIRE, its programme management pillar as well as their entities, are well aligned with the UAE’s Principles of the 50 and Projects of the 50 that aim to make the nation’s economy one of the best and most dynamic in the world.

He also underscored the focus on growing human capital, and driving the UAE’s digital, technical, and scientific excellence as higher goals for the entities.

In the past 12 months, TII’s research centres have signed 65 global partnership agreements with 37 universities, research centres, and industrial stakeholders worldwide. In addition, the centres have welcomed on board 101 nationals as associate researchers and scientists – surpassing its target for 2021. TII has also developed over 200 publications to its credit and filed five patents. TII boasts 34 globally renowned expert Advisors on its Scientific Advisory Boards at its centres.

The Cryptography Research Centre has developed the National Crypto Library, shaped a Post Quantum Cryptography software library, and launched the UAE’s first secure cloud technologies programme. The Directed Energy Research Centre has opened the region’s first electromagnetic compatibility lab and shaped the prototype of a ground-penetrating radar for the detection of unexploded landmines. Meanwhile, the Quantum Research Centre has commenced efforts to build the region’s first quantum computer and launched the first simulation version of "Qibo", a versatile open-source quantum computing programming framework, in collaboration with researchers worldwide.

The Secure Systems Research Centre has partnered with Purdue University on a first- in-the-region motion capture facility, and gained membership of DroneCode, a US-based non-profit run by Linux Foundation to foster the use of open-source software on flying vehicles. In addition, SSRC is an accredited member of RISC-V, a non-profit organization controlled by its members, which directs the future development and drives the adoption of the RISC-V free and open Instruction Set Architecture (ISA).

Furthermore, ASPIRE, ATRC’s technology programme management pillar has launched the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge’s Maritime Grand Challenge 2023. The competition will bring together universities, research institutions and individual innovators from all over the world to collaborate on finding a practical solution to global maritime security challenges such as illegal fishing, piracy, smuggling, and human trafficking.

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Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Inaugurates ‘Children’s Well-being in a Digital World’ Conference

ABU DHABI, 6th February, 2023 (WAM) — Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, today inaugurated the “Children's Well-being in a Digital World” International Conference, organised by Emirates Safer Internet Society (eSafe) in Abu Dhabi.

The conference coincides with the Safer Internet Day 2023, marked annually on 9th February.

In attendance were over 250 participants from government entities, international and national non-government organisations, academia, tech industry and school and college students.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak presented the newly introduced eSafe Child Online Protection Award 2022 to ten schools for their commendable work in driving digital safety measures – policies, awareness raising and data protection initiatives – in their respective educational institutions.

In his keynote speech, Dr. Mohamed Al Kuwaiti, Head of Cybersecurity, UAE Government, said that the first line of defence for cyber safety is the awareness of parents, guardians, and the family about online risks which they must periodically share with their children.

A very informed panel represented by Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Director General – Family Care Authority; Dr Ibrahim Al Dabal, CEO – AQDAR; Lt. Col. Abdulrahman Al Tamimi, Director – Ministry of Interior Child Protection Centre; Saji Thomas, Chief Child Protection-UNICEF Gulf Area etc. were in attendance.

The UAE student community was proudly represented by Hour Almadhaani from Khalifa University and Zoya Ahmed from Ambassador School Sharjah who were successful winners of a competition organised on student awareness on issues concerning online safety prior to the conference.

The inclusive conference was organised under three thematic streams: Safety of Children in the Digital World; Children and Families Well-Being in the Digital World; and Role of civic engagement and partnerships in promoting digital well-being.

The conference debates were focused around wellbeing issues that really mattered to children and young people, safety issues that impacted children and young people, how families and parents could contribute to their children’s well-being, and how could we all work together to advocate for them moving forward.

Dr. Al Mulla said, “We must think of ways to responsibly employ the tools and channels of the digital world at all levels of institutions for families and children. Our children form the centre of the family and society, and today are more in need than ever of our guidance on the digital world. The Family Care Authority follows up on reported cases of bullying, extortion and threats to children through a number of specialists who in turn review the cases with the concerned authorities."

“The Authority pays great attention to the needs of children and proposes policies and procedures to make sure that individuals and families have access to the services they need to achieve stability. The Authority also cooperates with all its partners to ensure the quality of life of families in Abu Dhabi,” she added.

The conference panellists were in unison in resonating that proactive cooperation and collaboration amongst government, academia, technology companies, and families was key to addressing child online safety and well-being. A holistic approach and a synergised response was the way forward to protect children from online risks and potential harm and thereby contributing to their physical, social emotional well-being.

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Secretary-General of Muslim Council of Elders, Prosecutor of International Criminal Court reaffirm role of justice institutions in promoting peace

ABU DHABI, 6th February, 2023 (WAM) — The Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Elders, Judge Mohamed Abdelsalam, and the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Karim Ahmad Khan, have reaffirmed the role of justice institutions in promoting peace and human fraternity.

During a meeting at the Council's headquarters in Abu Dhabi, they discussed potential cooperation, diverse heritage of international law, and the Council's role in promoting peaceful coexistence.

Khan praised the Muslim Council of Elders under the Chairmanship of the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, His Eminence Dr. Ahmed Al-Tayeb for its work in spreading peace and coexistence globally. He also recognised the Council's efforts in addressing a variety of humanitarian issues including: the Myanmar issue, the call for an inter-Islamic dialogue, the affirmation of women's rights to education, and the dispatching of peace convoys.

Khan noted the UAE's efforts in promoting peace saying that the 'Human Fraternity Meeting' in Abu Dhabi was a reflection of those efforts. He also emphasised the importance of disseminating the Document on Human Fraternity's ideals and seeking to reflect them in international laws and legislation.

Judge Abdelsalam said that the Council's mission to advance peace and human fraternity in Muslim and non-Muslim nations is a vision and a message that it proudly carries.

He also noted that the human fraternity document has today become a major source of interest and inspiration for many nations around the world. “In light of the difficulties our world is currently facing, there is a crucial role that institutions can play in fostering and sustaining both societal peace and religious freedom,” he added.

Abdelsalam praised the UAE in particular for its role in supporting initiatives that promote peace, tolerance, coexistence while countering hatred and human trafficking.

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Sharjah Ruler approves Islamic design for Al Dhaid University

SHARJAH, 6th February, 2023 (WAM) — H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, approved, on Monday, an Islamic design for Al Dhaid University, which will be built in addition to the existing building, and includes a mosque, a theatre and a group of various educational facilities.

This was announced by Mohammed Hassan Khalaf, Director-General of the Sharjah Broadcasting Authority, through the “Direct Line” programme broadcast by the authority, displaying pictures showing the start of the Sharjah Department of Public Works working on the completion of the project on the ground, to enable the university to receive its students in the fall of 2024.

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