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Innovation ‘holds the key to our progress’, says Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid

DUBAI // Innovation is the driver of progress, and governments and businesses that fail to innovate will go backwards, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid warned on Wednesday.

The Vice President and Ruler of Dubai was launching National Innovation Week, which will take place from November 22 to 28.

Sheikh Mohammed urged all public, private and academic entities to participate and called on the public to get involved through social media by brainstorming inventive ideas and projects that will establish the week as the most important destination for innovative and creative thinkers.

“Innovation today is not an option but a necessity, not a general culture but business style. Governments and companies that do not renew or innovate lose competitiveness and control. They are bound to regress,” Sheikh Mohammed said.

“We have doubled our investments in innovation and in the equipment, training and education of expert national cadres, because keeping pace with the world around us requires innovative resources and an environment that is supportive of innovation.”

Innovation Week is expected to be a launchpad for the announcement of leading public and private sector initiatives as it hosts government, research, academic and school events and activities. It will also include workshops, seminars and creative laboratories meant to spark new ideas and re-evaluate established inventions achieved throughout 2015, which has been named as the Year of Innovation.

“Our sectors in education, health, energy, environment, space, economy and services will present their innovations for 2015 during the National Innovation Week. The private sector will compete with the public sector by presenting their innovations,” said Sheikh Mohammed.

He invited social media users to suggest ideas, such as celebrating the most innovative teachers or teaching methods, or the most innovative government entity.

He also asked Twitter users to nominate the most innovative national companies and universities that support innovation as well as suggest any other ideas that will make this week one of the most important events of the year, leading to a qualitative shift in the culture of innovation in all institutions and sectors.

Sheikh Mohammed urged all public, private and academic organisations and corporations to participate and invited everyone to suggest through social media events and activities to be held during Innovation Week to establish it as the most important destination for innovation and creative thinkers in the region.

The Emirati inventor and businessman Ahmed Al Mazroei, who in May was named The National’s top innovator, said Innovation Week would foster new ideas and generate inventive products.

“We need to get more inventors in the UAE,” said Mr Mazroei. “Making Dubai a big-city hub for innovators will help to support all of the UAE. We need new solutions and new ideas for our country, for the UAE.”

Mr Al Mazroei’s inventions include an automated falcon training system that preserves the lives of birds, and an advanced robot camel jockey.

A committee has been formed by the federal government, local government and the private sector to organise National Innovation Week and collect ideas and coordinate all activities.

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(via The National)