Abu Dhabi: An online internship program coordinated by the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) will see six students of Khalifa University (KU) intern at four of Japan’s most technologically advanced firms. The 8 week-long internship programs will commence from May 31, 2021, and will focus on technologies and specialisations that include advanced agriculture, machine learning and artificial intelligence. The internship programs have been held  since 2012 for the purpose of promoting bilateral cooperation between Japanese companies and UAE universities through joint research. 2021 marks the 10th anniversary of the program. While internships could not be held last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, this year the programs will proceed in an online format for the very first time, due to a deep desire from Khalifa University for the much-valued programs to continue despite the ongoing challenges due to the pandemic.

Despite the online format, the internship program, sponsored by JICE, remains extremely popular and competitive among UAE students, with this year seeing 20 highly talented students vying for the coveted 6 spots.

Each of the four companies accepting Emirati interns this year have a strong interest in the UAE, and are actively working to hire foreign talents.

One such company is IHI Corporation, a leading manufacturing company based in Japan, specializing in the fields of oil & gas, energy and aerospace. Through the program an intern will acquire various knowledge in the field of technological development specific to the elemental technologies related to machine learning.

Ibaraki University Frontier Research Center for Applied Atomic Sciences (iFRC) will conduct an internship with one of its joint ventures that specialize in the use of quantum beams to create exceptional strains of agricultural products. Staff of the host company collaborate with farmers, allowing the intern student to be involved in the whole research process, including directly communicating via tablets with the Japanese farmers involved in the studies.

Bosch Corporation, an international market leader in artificial intelligence, will share its AI programming software with its two intern students, who will analyze various data online.

Mebiol Inc., a company specialising in advanced agricultural development, has developed a dryland farming technology kit that allows vegetables to be cultivated without soil. The kit will be shipped from Japan to the intern student in the UAE, whereby baby leaf cultivation will be conducted with the appropriate online guidance and training. The intern will report on production observations, including comparisons with soil cultivated baby leaves, and conduct surveys and research including the applicability of the technology for the UAE.

Mr. Keishi Saegusa of Bosch Corporation commented: “What makes our internships so special is that interns will be provided with the opportunity to work alongside not only associates but also managers and executives, within a highly international environment. Interns will also get the chance to engage with our large intern community through various internal networking events, as we take in over 100 interns every year. We feel that this is an ideal opportunity for both the company and the student in terms of diversity. Diversity is something we take pride in and we feel that it is highly significant in the context of innovation. As part of our company slogan, through the invention of technological new ideas, our goal is to contribute to the betterment of societies around the world. We hope that through the experiences gained from this internship, the interns are able to contribute to the betterment of society in the UAE.”

Ms. Farah Ibrahim Alhosaini, a Biomedical Engineering student at KU who will be interning at Bosch Corporation comments: “As I am currently developing a haptic device for the management of stress and depression for visual and hearing impaired patients, this position will help me further expand the capabilities of my research and hone skills that I can implement in my future projects. I would like to integrate machine learning and artificial intelligence in the neurofeedback sector of biomedical engineering. Machine learning and artificial intelligence is a promising field that will help the UAE progress in terms of technology and perhaps improving efficiency in various sectors. I see this opportunity as a means to inspire people and future generations to take on challenges.”

Dr. Takamitsu Kohzuma at iFRC comments: “iFRC has exclusive use of 2 of the 23 beam lines at the Japan Proton Accelerator Research Complex (J-PARC), a world-renowned high intensity proton accelerator facility. J-PARC uses high intensity proton beams to create secondary beams of neutrons, hadrons, and neutrinos. At iFRC, we can apply Quantum beam analysis technology with world-class facilities in various fields including agriculture, food production, healthcare and cosmetics to name a few. It is unique research being held at an equally unique educational institute.”

Mr. Hasan Alattas, a Biomedical Engineering student at KU said: “The UAE is expanding its healthcare sector to include a proton beam therapy for cancer patients, and has recently started operating our first nuclear power plant. The internship at iFRC using the J-PARC facilities will provide me the knowledge that will advance our nation.”

Ms. Hamda Ali Al Kaabi, a Chemical Engineering student at KU said: “Naturally a physical on-ground internship program would have been preferred, however, due to the pandemic and for our safety, it is still a great opportunity to participate in the program online. The positive attitude of Japanese people whom I have already had the chance to meet in my life, tells me that this internship program will also bring positive outcomes.”

The online internship will start from May 31, 2021, starting with courses by JICE to learn basic Japanese conversations and business etiquette, and will be held for eight weeks by the Japanese companies. The participating students will then present their studies and achievements at the final debriefing session in early August. 

For more information at about the Japan International Cooperation Center and further study in Japan please contact the JICE Abu Dhabi office, visit: www.jice.org/en, follow us on Instagram @jice_koho  or call: 02 406 9704.

About the Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE)

Ever since its establishment in 1977, Japan International Cooperation Center (JICE) has supported the growth of human resources in partner countries. The purpose of its organization is to contribute to the development of the international community through investing in various activities which strengthen mutually beneficial relations between Japan and other countries. Following the JICE’s motto of ‘Share knowledge and experience. For our world. For the future.’ JICE will work together toward achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). JICE will constantly move forward by planning, proposing and creating projects based upon the flexible mindset to respond to the social issues in changing society across the world.

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