Zayed University (ZU) hosted members of the Government of Dubai at its state-of-the-art innovation lab, 'The NextGen Center', to explore opportunities to collaborate on research in innovative technologies linked to the UAE strategic priorities and the 17 UN Global Goals.
University-industry-Government collaboration for the development of innovation is vitally important in helping to create a strong and sustained innovation ecosystem both locally and nationally. Innovation is a key driver of economic growth, increased productivity, and job creation and is at the heart of the UAE's strategic priorities, especially as the nation transitions to a knowledge-based economy.
Backed by wide-ranging partners such as SAP, IBM, Cisco, and Microsoft, alongside leading startups and government entities, the pioneering NextGen Center serves as an important element in this innovation ecosystem. This approach benefits industry and Government partners as well as the students at ZU as it provides the opportunity for valuable research to be undertaken that lead to technology solutions that address real-world industry challenges. By working on real life challenges, the research undertaken also provides valuable training and experience for students in advanced technologies such as cyber security, programming, and the application of Artificial Intelligence.
Dr. Fatma Taher, Director of the ZU NextGen Center and Associate Professor at the College of Technological Innovation welcomed the Government delegation to the Center which included Dr. Bushra AlBlooshi, Head of research and Innovation from Dubai Electronic Security Center (DESC) and her team, and Dr. Ahmed AlMarzooqi, Head of Digital Forensic Research Team at Dubai Police. Also attending the meeting from Zayed University was Dr. Hany El Kadi, Dean, College of Technological Innovation (CTI), Dr. Omar Alfandi, Associate Dean, Professor (CTI), Dr. Munir Majdalawieh, Associate Professor, Chair Information Systems and Technology Department, Dr. Zakaria Maamar, Professor, Chair of Computing and Applied Technology and Dr. Mohammed Hussain, Associate Professor, Assistant Dean for Student Affairs at CTI, and some senior students to present their projects.
"Innovation is at the core of enabling the UAE's strategic priorities for the next 50 years of achievements, and we are delighted to explore further collaborations with our Government partners in Dubai. The NextGen Center is a pioneering approach that brings real-world solutions to the challenges faced by industry and Government underpinned by our extensive research capabilities at Zayed University. We are always committed to serving the innovation sector by extending our collaborations and partnerships to be able to see the impact of developing opportunities in technological advancement. It also provides our students valuable experience in this innovation ecosystem which helps prepare them with the skills for their future careers," said Dr. Fatma Taher, Director of the NextGen Center.
The Center opens possibilities for students to receive professional training certification and help engage our students in Internship opportunities with partners of Zayed University, which gives students an edge when it comes to applying for future jobs.
Zayed University faculty will supervise student research projects by leveraging the experiences and programs the Center will deliver. NextGen will also launch Hackathon Competitions at the national and international levels each year. The Center will also engage and collaborate with the global community of educators and students, especially our MSc students looking to continue their studies.