Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates – On the sidelines of COP28 UAE, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), the world’s first research university focused on AI, and Silal, an agri-food company based in Abu Dhabi, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to bring AI innovation to agriculture and food production. The agreement will support the creation of a joint AI Center of Excellence with the potential to enable the UAE to develop and expand its food production sector, while improving food security and sustainability.

MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations Sultan Al Hajji, and Salmeen Alameri Silal’s Chief Executive Officer, signed the MoU during the COP28 Thematic Day: Food, Agriculture, and Water. Under the agreement, MBZUAI and Silal will conduct joint research to accelerate the use of AI in farming and food systems and exchange technical knowledge, expertise, and resources.

MBZUAI and Silal will also provide a framework for the transfer and commercialization of research, including support for startups and business spinouts with the potential to raise efficiency, production, and innovation in the UAE’s food sector.

“MBZUAI and Silal will work together to develop AI innovation for agriculture and food production by creating new opportunities to combine our resources, and develop and commercialize research, empowering the sector to produce quality food in the most sustainable way possible,” said Al Hajji. “This partnership comes in line with the National Strategy for Food Security 2051, which aims to develop a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production using modern technologies and enhance local production.”

 Salmeen Alameri commented on the signing, "Embracing a collaborative journey with MBZUAI strengthens Silal's dedication to pioneering AI innovation in agriculture and food production. This partnership unlocks vast potential, enhancing our research capabilities and propelling us towards a more robust and resilient food system for the future."

Experts have identified several important use cases for deploying AI in the agricultural sector, such as predictive insights related to weather data, crop output, and pricing predictions. AI also has a key role to play in advancing phenotyping and crop discovery, enabling farmers to identify genes with the most suitable traits to withstand disease, pests, and the impact of climate change faster and more effectively.

About Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI)

MBZUAI is a graduate research university focused on artificial intelligence, computer science, and digital technologies across industrial sectors. The university aims to empower students, businesses, and governments to advance artificial intelligence as a global force for positive progress. MBZUAI offers various graduate programs designed to pursue advanced, specialized knowledge and skills in artificial intelligence, including computer science, computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and robotics. For more information, please visit www.mbzuai.ac.ae

To apply for admission, visit mbzuai.ac.ae or contact admissions@mbzuai.ac.ae. For press inquiries, please contact:

Aya Sakoury
Head of Communications
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Senior Communications Specialist
Roger Field/Aaya AbuNahwa
Wallis PR

About Silal:

Silal is part of ADQ, one of the region’s largest holding companies with a broad portfolio of major enterprises spanning key sectors of Abu Dhabi’s diversified economy.

Silal was established in September 2020 to diversify sources of food products and stimulate manufactured and agri-food sectors. Silal’s mandates include managing procurement programs and strategic stocks of foodstuffs.

The company also executes specialized knowledge transfer programs on desert farming techniques and devises research and development projects. Silal envisions managing procurement programs and strategic stocks of foodstuffs and aims to enhance food security by ensuring an adequate and stable supplies, creating sustainable and robust food systems.

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