The UAE’s innovative approach towards its administrative procedures for modernizing its government work and leveraging sustainable economic development has enabled the country to be placed first in the Arab region and 34th in the world in the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2020.
The UAE’s ‘Innovation Month 2021″ which starts from February has become a national occasion for securing the country’s position as a global hub of innovation and capacity building and a catalyst for public and private sectors and individuals to employ innovative solutions.
The country’s achievements in various sectors clearly reflect the policies followed by the country in science, technology and innovation which includes 100 national initiatives worth over $81 billion until 2021, along with a series of national legislative, investment, technological, educational and financial policies focused at diversifying the national economy.
The UAE’s innovation policy concentrates on investing in Emirati citizens, upskilling them in science and technology and supporting several sectors such as space research, specialist aviation industries, global pharmaceuticals, solar energy research, peaceful nuclear power research and artificial intelligence (AI) programs.
In October 2014, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai launched the National Innovation Strategy, which set the target to turn the UAE into one of the most innovative countries in the world by 2021.
The strategy comprised of 30 national initiatives implemented over three years which included adopting new legislation, supporting innovation incubators, creating specialist national capacities, offering a series of incentives to the private sector, establishing global research partnerships and modernizing government work to be more innovative in seven key sectors, most notably renewable energy, transport, health, education, technology, water and space.
The UAE Cabinet marked 2015 as the Year of Innovation and issued directives to all federal authorities to strengthen their coordination and revise public government policies to build an environment that boosts innovation with the aim of positioning the country as a global leader in the area.
In August 2015, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid declared that a week, from 22nd to 28th November, will be named “UAE Innovation Week.” Following its success the government announced that an entire month will be observed as Innovation Month in February 2018, becoming a national occasion for celebrating innovation in the country.
In recent years, the UAE has accomplished a series of significant achievements in the field of innovation, most notably the development of educational systems, boosting computer use and smart devices in schools, inaugurating new electronic higher education establishments around the country and establishing several technological institutes and research establishments aimed at promoting innovation.
With the outbreak of COVID-19, the country has relied highly on innovation to address emerging challenges and turn them into opportunities, ensuring business continuity in all vital sectors, upon the highest standards of health and public safety.