The forum brings to the UAE capital a distinguished line-up of regional and global innovators to share knowledge and expertise and at the same time examine ways to further strengthen as the country as a regional centre for innovation and entrepreneurship.
Presented by Abu Dhabi University (ADU) and Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, the forum serves as the venue for discussion of the latest innovative strategies and global insights that will help in the development of a culture of innovation throughout the region.
“Innovation is a special tool that simply empowers people to do what they want to do,” said His Excellency Mohamed Nasser Al Ghanim, TRA Director General, one of several distinguished speakers. “It lets people be creative and be productive. It allows them to learn things they didn’t think they could learn before, and so in a sense it is all about potential.”
TRA will also showcase at the forum the ICT Fund, a first of its kind in the Arab world. The Fund was established with the vision to achieve a global leadership position for UAE’s ICT sector through fostering and developing innovation and creativity. Since its establishment, the Fund was able to jump start innovation within the ICT sector in the UAE mainly in the fields of intellectual capital, technological leadership, smart research, innovative ideas, and incubating start-ups.
Other key speakers at the two-day event include Dr. Ahmed Khalil Al Mutawa, Chief Executive Officer of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, who will present a paper entitled ‘connecting innovation to economic development’. In addition, Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of du, will discuss innovative ideas for a digital ecosystem.
“Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development continually strives to develop and improve the SME sector for sustainable development in the UAE. The majority of our companies are now innovating in parallel with a lot of nationals who have innovative ideas and who need help to realise the potential of those ideas,” said Dr. Al Mutawa.
“The Innovation Forum, which made a highly successful debut last year, encourages local and regional businessmen to invest in innovation strategies which among others can help them thrive in the face of a tough economic climate,” he added.
“The digital world today has led to a social and economic ecosystem that stimulates creativeity and innovation. Inspired by this recent trend, we have come up with Anayou, a powerful digital platform specifically envisioned to meet the diverse digital needs of the Arab world in the 21st century in areas such as social networking,” commented Osman.
The forum includes informative panel discussions, practical workshops and case studies as well as invaluable networking opportunities to examine successful innovations from some of the most creative minds from across the world.
Ali Saeed Bin Harmal Al Dhaheri, Chairman of the Executive Board of Abu Dhabi University, said, “The UAE is leading the region in enabling innovation not only in the business environment but also within its government policies. A lot of local and regional innovators are taking part in the forum to share their personal experiences and best practices making them a forerunner in the field of innovation in the region.”
The forum will also highlight global innovators Alexander Blass, Top Innovator of the Year Award Grand Prize Winner; Matt Kingdon, Chairman, Co-Founder and Chief Enthusiast, ?What If! The Innovation Company; and Wilf Dinnick, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder, OpenFile. Regional and local presenters will include Sami Issa, Executive Director leading the Abu Dhabi Ecosystem Development Unit of ATIC; Dr. Zaki Khoury, Gulf Education & Citizenship Lead, Microsoft Gulf; and Engineer Osama Ghanim, Chief Executive Officer, Innovabia.
A question and answer panel discussion will also tackle how to measure results of innovation from a regional context. This will be composed of Ibrahim Al Mansoori, Deputy Chief Executive Officer, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development; Dr. Abdalla Alnajjar, President of the Arab Science & Technology Foundation; Jeremy Foster, Head of Government and Industry Relations, Region Middle East and Africa, Ericsson; and Kamal Dimachkie, Managing Director of Leo Burnett Dubai, Kuwait and Lower Gulf.
Meanwhile, the speakers during the second day are Wayne Borg, Chief Operating Officer, twofour54; Dr. Ayoub Kazim, Managing Director, Education Cluster, TECOM Investments; Brendan Rauw, Senior Technology Portfolio Manager, Technology Transfer & Innovation, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology in Saudi Arabia; Ashish Tomas, Strategy & Innovation Specialist, Wolff Olins; and Engineer Jad Bsaibes and Salim Abdo, Managing Partner and owner, Green Power Generation, s.a.r.i respectively.
Case studies will also be presented by Dr. Wissam Rabadi, Executive Director, iPark Technology Incubator, El Hassan Science City, who will talk about technology incubators as a catalyst for Middle East development, and Mohammed Abedin, Founder, FooDog, who will discuss innovation for local youth. A workshop will also be conducted by Innovabia.
The Second Abu Dhabi Innovation Forum, organised by Aim Events, the events management group of ADU, is held in association with the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA). The forum is also sponsored by Microsoft and Dubai Knowledge Village and the SME Advisor Middle East as the media partner.
Saturday, January 22- 2011 @ 13:43 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.