02 February 2015
- INNOVATOR program aims to inspire, facilitate and promote the innovator in everyone.

Abu Dhabi - The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) today officially launched its newest initiative, the INNOVATOR programthat has been designed to nurture innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship. The program, comprising four main components; The Space, The Show, The Tour and The Magazine, actively supports inventors, innovators and creative individuals throughout the different stages of their innovation development; from the moment of inspiration to creation.

One of TDC's key initiatives, INNOVATOR, aims to develop human capital in the Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) sector, a crucial element in the realization of the Abu Dhabi 2030 vision to build a knowledge-based economy and in support of the National Innovation Strategy 2021 which aims tomake the UAE amongst the leading nations in innovation.

Ahmed Saeed Al Calily, Director General, TDC explained, "To build aknowledge-based economy, investment in the development of human capital is paramount;it is vital tosupport, encourageand empowerour future generation. Tacit learning and knowledge sharing are the foundations on which we can realize the 2030 vision. TDC's INNOVATOR initiative is a progressive four-part program providing education, skills, tools and guidance to foster innovation within the community whilst simultaneously creating solutions for the industry."

Al Calily added, "Turning the UAE into a global innovation hub can be achieved if we continue to invest in inspiring and developing a generation of innovators and building the innovation eco-system to sustain it".

The cornerstone of TDC's INNOVATOR program isINNOVATOR Space,an open access making space equipped with professional grade hardware, tools, software and staffed by professionals ready to help individuals of all skills to turn their ideas into reality. Developed and operated in collaboration with renowned US company, TechShop, the global leader in running open access "makers spaces" in the US and worldwide, the widely anticipated INNOVATOR Space will be the first of its kind in the UAE and the region. The 1,000 sqmetre innovation hub will be located in Al Zeina, Al Raha Beach, Abu Dhabi and is on track to open later this year.

Paul Duggan, Chief Executive Officer, TechShop Global , "TechShop is delighted to bring its Maker Space platform to Abu Dhabi and we have been very fortunate partnering with TDC to establish TechShop in Abu Dhabi within the Innovator Space, the UAE and the region's first of its kind open access Maker Space. We have been greatly inspired by TDC's approach to Maker Culture and the initiatives which they've launched in support of fostering local innovation talent. TechShop's platform provides a full suite of support for budding Makers and DIY enthusiasts. It will help drive innovation in Abu Dhabi and deliver real impacts for the Innovator Program. We strongly believe that our approach to Open Innovation and Rapid Prototyping, which has been demonstrated successfully over the past eight years in the United States, will be a major boost for Abu Dhabi delivering the tools of the Fourth Industrial Revolution."

INNOVATOR Space will work hand in hand with individuals, technology companies and academic institutions to engageand excite the community about innovation possibilities and opportunities.

Andy Nehme, Commercial Business Director, Intel Corporation, Middle East & North Africa commented, "At Intel we are committed to support sustained economic growth in the regionand believe that science and technology are key to drive a 21st century knowledge based economy. We are delighted to be able to support TDC on a pioneering initiative such as INNOVATOR which falls under the Intel Innovation Initiative and is perfectly aligned with Intel's vision to bridging the digital divide and foster innovation through technology integration."

The program's second component is the annual INNOVATOR Show, which will showcase distinctive projects by UAE innovators and connect them with the community. Taking place this year on March 5 and 6th, at the Abu Dhabi Corniche East Plaza, the INNOVATOR Show is now open for registration with entrants urged to submit their ideas and inventions before the 19 February 2015.

The third component, set to be unveiled later this year isthe INNOVATOR Outreach Tour that will be delivered through a series of training and educational activities offering school and university students across the UAE skill-based workshops to inspire them on hands-on science and technology learning. The tour also spreads awareness about a range of helpful making tools to stimulate further interest in innovation.

The fourth and final component is the INNOVATOR Magazine planned as a comprehensive guide showcasing the best-in-class innovation ideas coming to fruition from the UAE community. Planned to be launched in 2016, the magazineprovidestips, hints and resources to transform ideas into reality.

Organized by TDC and sponsored by Intel as a gold sponsor, INNOVATOR program is set to ignite the innovation engine in everyone.

More information about INNOVATOR program can be found at www.tdc.gov.ae; Details about the INNOVATOR show can be found at www.innovator.ae


About TDC
The Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee (TDC) activates, encourages and supports the development of a vibrant Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) environment in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi. An innovation ecosystem must be built on strong partnerships, and the TDC coordinates the efforts of government, business and academia to use Abu Dhabi's STI resources to build a sustainable and diversified knowledge economy.

To encourage innovation, build capacity and ensure that the STI sector reaches its full potential TDC focuses on both popularizing science to foster world-class talents with the right skills and attitude, as well as enterprise development, thereby creating an end-to-end innovation support ecosystem, to enable the growth of enterprises in technology-driven sectors.

Some of TDC's successful initiatives that cultivate knowledge in STI include:

• The Takamul program, a national innovation support program developed to assist inventors turn their ideas into products, solutions and services of societal and economical value. Takamul currently supports innovations in the Health & Medical, ICT, Clean-tech, Semiconductor, Oil & Gas Services, Energy, Advance materials infrastructure and lifestyle industries.

• The Abu Dhabi Science Festival, an annual festival that aims to inspire the nation's youth by providing science-related hands-on activities and experiences to build local talent in STI.

• The Lema? Science School Outreach Program. 'Lema?', which means "Why?" in Arabic, takes science to the next generation by providing informal science learning demonstrations and  experiences to thousands of students in grades 3 to 5 and their teachers.

• Abu Dhabi Science Center, a state of the art facility designed to stimulate scientific curiosity within the nation's youth and inspire them in Science, Technology and Innovation through exciting themed galleries and interactive learning experiences.

© Press Release 2015