MANAMA: The Labour Fund Tamkeen yesterday announced the launch of two cloud innovation centres (CICs) in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), University of Bahrain (UoB) and Bahrain Polytechnic (BP).
The new CICs will focus on accelerating the digital transformation of the public sector in Bahrain, and across the region, by working with institutions and the next-generation of technologists to use cloud technologies to solve real-life challenges, and convert these challenges into opportunities that encourage entrepreneurial activities through innovation.
This initiative is part of Tamkeen’s ongoing support for cloud skills development. The new CICs will introduce students to Amazon’s innovation processes and give them access to cloud computing expertise, enabling them to quickly develop digital solutions for a series of challenges submitted and sponsored by local public sector organisations, referred to as ‘challenge sponsors’.
These solution designs will be published on an open-source platform and made available to any individual or organisation wishing to develop and deploy them for the good of Bahrainis and citizens worldwide which will allow for entrepreneurial activities in new emerging industries.
Tamkeen chief executive Dr Ebrahim Janahi said: “Partnering with AWS to establish the CICs in UoB and BP is an important step towards digital transformation. This will ensure maximum outreach to Bahrainis to start utilising cloud technology within their organisations.”
He added that one of Tamkeen’s many goals is to drive innovation within the kingdom, allowing Bahrainis the liberty to create and design feasible, smart and sustainable solutions that would elevate and strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness through encouraging entrepreneurship.”
AWS Worldwide Public Sector vice president Teresa Carlson said, “We have seen cloud computing transform public sectors across the world. By launching CICs powered by AWS, the UoB, BP and Tamkeen can support the country’s digital transformation. With the recent launch of the AWS Middle East Region in Bahrain, we are bringing the most advanced cloud technologies closer to customers, students and education institutions in the region to enable them to innovate even faster and develop new products and services.”
UoB president Prof Riyad Hamzeh said, “As a university, we are committed to investing in resources to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in order to inspire creativity with our students. We hope that this will create an environment to develop new ideas, products, services and increase growth of SMEs. Students will work in multi-disciplinary teams using next-generation cloud computing technologies from AWS to develop innovative solutions that solve real world challenges.”
Bahrain Polytechnic CEO Dr Jeff Zabudsky said “Bringing a CIC to Bahrain Polytechnic allows us to implement AWS’s advanced cloud technologies within our institution and empower our students and staff to utilise these tools to solve some of the most pressing challenges within the public sector. As we head into a world of digitisation, the CIC will also help our students acquire the in-demand cloud computing skills, ensuring that they are equipped with the requirements of today’s labour market.”
The new CICs join eight others around the world at California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation Hub and Arizona State University Smart City CIC (both in the US), Munich University of Applied Sciences Digital Transformation Lab and CODE University of Applied Sciences Better Future Lab (both in Germany), Sciences Po Public Innovation Lab (France), Busan City CIC (South Korea), Swinburne Data for Social Good CIC (Australia) and the University of British Columbia Community Health and Wellbeing CIC (Canada).
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