ADU Leads Dialogue on Innovation and Economic Development at Innovation Conference
18 December 2018
Abu Dhabi University, an internationally recognized academic institution for quality education and applied research, yesterday hosted the first ADU Innovation 2018 Conference at its Dubai campus to shed light on the fundamental role of universities in embracing innovation and driving economic development.
The conference, which ran under the theme ‘The new role of universities within a Knowledge-based society’, featured an outstanding lineup of academics, researchers, government representatives, and industry speakers. Participants came together to address a number of key topics, which included the mechanisms for developing an effective triple-helix innovation model of university-industry-government collaboration and knowledge transfer, the role of universities in policy making, and ways of measuring the impact of universities on economic and social development.
Dr. Ibrahim Sidawi, Director of Abu Dhabi University’s Dubai campus, delivered a welcome note followed by a series of panel discussions. The panel of speakers consisted of experts from government, industry and academic organizations. The government representatives included Mr. Obeid Salem Al Zaabi, Director at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), who highlighted various ways of developing key skills necessary for the 21st century, in addition to ADU partners from the Department of Economic Development.
Dr. Sidawi commented, “In line with the UAE government’s vision to transition towards a knowledge-based economy, we continuously strive to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The potential for a knowledge-based society that thrives on innovation and economic diversity calls for a more prominent role for universities, which form an integral cog in the engine driving the country’s socio-economic development. Through this event, we aim to promote the importance of increasing collaboration between universities, government, and industry to explore new and ingenious ways for sharing and applying knowledge.”
The conference also saw Professor Christos Pitelis, Dean of College of Business at Abu Dhabi University, set the scene by examining the nature, determinants and actors of sustainable development and the role of the university in fostering knowledge, innovation and creativity. He then moved to the role of fundamental and technical education and research, to academia, business, government and third-sector collaboration. Professor Pitelis also highlighted the optimal division of labor between these entities that best fosters knowledge and sustainable value co-creation.
Dr. Petra Turkama, Director of Innovation at Abu Dhabi University commented, “This event has been one of many this year where we’ve had the opportunity to engage with experts and lead the dialogue on how universities can make a positive contribution to society and support the building of a generation that can lead the country’s future.”
In addition, experts from leading multinational organizations who joined the discussions included Mr. Andrea Emiliani, Business Development Executive Academia at IBM Middle East and Africa as well as Mr. Ahmed Elkabbany, General Manager of Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems. Both highlighted how their respective organizations support their employees and students through providing training programs, skill-building activities and networking opportunities.
The conference presented an opportunity for government, academics and industry to network and exchange knowledge across different sectors and organizations.
The event was attended by a number of senior level participants and ADU faculty members, students and staff.