Year of Innovation
Positioning the UAE at the forefront of global innovation
The year 2015 was declared as “The Year of Innovation” in an effort to make the UAE a global leader in advanced technology and innovation. His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, first announced the National Innovation Strategy on 19th October 2014. In November of the same year, the UAE Federal Cabinet of Ministers approved the pronouncement of 2015 as the Year of Innovation, which served as an opportunity for the country to unify its efforts in enhancing its innovative capabilities.
A strong catalyst for social and economic growth and development, the theme for 2015 implored federal government entities to enhance cooperation and formulate policies that provide opportunities fostering innovation.
The National Innovation Strategy focussed on cultivating innovation in seven major sectors – renewable energy, education, technology, health, transport, space, and water. Thirty initiatives were set to be implemented within a three-year duration to nurture innovation in the identified sectors, including the creation of new directives, formation of innovation incubators, investment in specialised proficiencies, and establishing international partnerships for research.
Year of Innovation Initiatives
UAE Conference on SMEs and Innovation
As SMEs are the major drivers of the country’s economic growth, representing over 94% of businesses operating in the UAE, the Ministry of Economy ensured to focus its attention on supporting and reinforcing this vital sector. In line with this, the Ministry inaugurated the 6th UAE Conference on SMEs and Innovation in 2015, followed by its 7th edition in 2016. The conferences placed emphasis on the importance of implementing innovation in all SME operations as a vital necessity for a country aspiring to achieve economic strength on a global scale.
Innovation Guide for Companies in the UAE
“The Innovation Guide for Companies in the United Arab Emirates: Towards UAE Vision 2021” was launched by the Corporate Sector and Consumer Protection of the Ministry of Economy during the UAE Innovation Week 2016. The innovation handbook aimed to provide a better understanding of how innovation can significantly contribute to the success of companies and businesses in the country.
Emirati Inventors Exhibition
The Ministry of Economy launched the exhibition for Emirati inventors in Dubai as part of its initiatives for the UAE Innovation Week. The exhibition was inaugurated as an effort to strengthen the country’s innovation environment and give opportunities to UAE inventors to nurture their creativity through their inventions. The inventors obtained patents registered at the Ministry for their innovative creations.
Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Economy and General Electric
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Ministry of Economy and the global company, General Electric (GE), to promote and strengthen the culture of leadership and innovation across the nation. GE organised leadership speaker sessions and workshops, in addition to field visits to various facilities of General Electric. MoE’s partnership with GE aimed to provide in-depth insights to employees of government entities about the best international practices and the latest innovative trends and technologies, through GE 's proven expertise.
Launch of the International Center for Patent Registration
The International Center for Patent Registration was inaugurated by the Ministry to become the competent authority to register patents in the UAE, responsible for examining patent applications and granting patents for new inventions.
Inauguration of the 'Be Happy-Visit UAE' app
The Ministry of Economy introduced the 'Be Happy-Visit UAE' app as a part of its campaigns for the UAE Innovation Week. The app, the very first of its kind in the UAE, was designed to provide information and interactive services to tourists, gain their feedback, and measure their level of satisfaction and happiness during their stay in the country.
Launch of the “UAE Land of Innovators” movie
The “UAE Land of Innovators” movie was launched by the Ministry of Economy which highlighted the country's efforts towards enhancing and implementing innovation in various sectors of the economy. It also highlighted the different approaches that the government, as well as the private institutions, are carrying out to achieve this national goal.