|18 December, 2018

Abu Dhabi University leads dialogue on innovation and economic development at Innovation Conference

Abu Dhabi University, an internationally recognized academic institution for quality education and applied research, yesterday hosted the first ADU Innovation 2018 Conference at its Dubai campus to shed light on the fundamental role of universities in embracing innovation and driving economic development

Abu Dhabi University leads dialogue on innovation and economic development at Innovation Conference

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Abu Dhabi University, an internationally recognized academic institution for quality education and applied research, yesterday hosted the first ADU Innovation 2018 Conference at its Dubai campus to shed light on the fundamental role of universities in embracing innovation and driving economic development.

The conference, which ran under the theme ‘The new role of universities within a Knowledge-based society’, featured an outstanding lineup of academics, researchers, government representatives, and industry speakers. Participants came together to address a number of key topics, which included the mechanisms for developing an effective triple-helix innovation model of university-industry-government collaboration and knowledge transfer, the role of universities in policy making, and ways of measuring the impact of universities on economic and social development. 

Dr. Ibrahim Sidawi, Director of Abu Dhabi University’s Dubai campus, delivered a welcome note followed by a series of panel discussions. The panel of speakers consisted of experts from government, industry and academic organizations. The government representatives included Mr. Obeid Salem Al Zaabi, Director at the Emirates Centre for Strategic Studies and Research (ECSSR), who highlighted various ways of developing key skills necessary for the 21st century, in addition to ADU partners from the Department of Economic Development.

Dr. Sidawi commented, “In line with the UAE government’s vision to transition towards a knowledge-based economy, we continuously strive to bridge the gap between academia and industry. The potential for a knowledge-based society that thrives on innovation and economic diversity calls for a more prominent role for universities, which form an integral cog in the engine driving the country’s socio-economic development. Through this event, we aim to promote the importance of increasing collaboration between universities, government, and industry to explore new and ingenious ways for sharing and applying knowledge.”

The conference also saw Professor Christos Pitelis, Dean of College of Business at Abu Dhabi University, set the scene by examining the nature, determinants and actors of sustainable development and the role of the university in fostering knowledge, innovation and creativity. He then moved to the role of fundamental and technical education and research, to academia, business, government and third-sector collaboration. Professor Pitelis also highlighted the optimal division of labor between these entities that best fosters knowledge and sustainable value co-creation.  

Dr. Petra Turkama, Director of Innovation at Abu Dhabi University commented, “This event has been one of many this year where we’ve had the opportunity to engage with experts and lead the dialogue on how universities can make a positive contribution to society and support the building of a generation that can lead the country’s future.”

In addition, experts from leading multinational organizations who joined the discussions included Mr. Andrea Emiliani, Business Development Executive Academia at IBM Middle East and Africa as well as Mr. Ahmed Elkabbany, General Manager of Corporate Affairs at Cisco Systems. Both highlighted how their respective organizations support their employees and students through providing training programs, skill-building activities and networking opportunities. 

The conference presented an opportunity for government, academics and industry to network and exchange knowledge across different sectors and organizations.

The event was attended by a number of senior level participants and ADU faculty members, students and staff.


About Abu Dhabi University (ADU)

Abu Dhabi University is a private, multi-campus University committed to meeting the education, skills and knowledge needs in the United Arab Emirates and neighboring countries through qualifications and standards that are respected across the world.

Although young, the University is recognized as a world-class institution committed to excellence in teaching, student experience, research and corporate education. We are regularly featured in the Quacquarelli Symonds (QS) rankings as among the best higher education institutions in the region. We hold prestigious international accreditations for the institution as a whole, for particular fields of provision and for specific programs. We were the first private higher education institution in the UAE and the GCC region to earn international accreditation from the Californian Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). ADU’s College of Business holds international accreditations from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and the prestigious EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS). Only 1% of business schools worldwide have this double accreditation. In addition, its College of Engineering has earned accreditation from the world-renowned Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) and the Computing Accreditation Commission (CAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). It houses the only architecture program to hold accreditation by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

According to the QS World Universities Rankings, ADU ranks in the top 701-750 universities worldwide, the top 150 leading institutions under 50 years, the top 27 universities in the Arab World, and the top 6 in the UAE. Being rated 3rd globally for international faculty and 10th for international students, we consider diversity to be among our key strengths.

Established in 2003, Abu Dhabi University has over 7,500 students from over 80 nationalities across its four campuses and sponsored programs. Structured into Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Law and the University College, we offer undergraduate and graduate programs across arts, law, education, business and management, engineering and sciences, including to Etihad pilots, trainees and personnel of the UAE military. Alongside the well-established campuses in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain, we have launched a new campus in Dubai Knowledge Park and recently opened a teaching facility in the Al Dhafra Region of the Abu Dhabi Emirate. In addition, a brand-new state-of-the-art campus is planned to open in Al Ain in September 2019.

Media Contacts
Weber Shandwick for Abu Dhabi University
Mohammed Al Azzam
+971 2 449 4457
Abu Dhabi University
Noor AlMasri, Senior Marketing Operations Manager
+971 506195700

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