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The UAE calls out to innovators

December 8, 2013 11:42 am

TDC prepares to launch new event to celebrate homegrown technology

Following the immense success of Abu Dhabi Science Festival, the UAE’s Technology Development Committee (TDC) is preparing the launch of INNOVATOR – a weekend to showcase and celebrate homegrown devices, projects and prototypes. AMEinfo.com interviews the head of the INNOVATOR initiative, Majid Al Mail, as the event team begins shortlisting applicants.

AMEinfo.com: What is INNOVATOR? And who is an innovator in that context?

Majid Al Mail: INNOVATOR is a new and exciting event coming to Abu Dhabi in March 2014, which is built around the talents of do-it-yourself (DIY) projects of 200 hand-picked UAE-based talented individuals.

It is the first of its kind in the region; demonstrating homegrown DIY projects from across the UAE, the event aims is to celebrate ideas, showcase unique and creative projects, and inspire the DIY movement in the UAE.

An innovator is a maker, tinkerer, hacker, crafter, artisan, geek, builder, designer or IT programmer. An innovator can be an individual, a hobbyist, a science club or a commercial enterprise, building something exciting based on the use of science and technology.

These curious makers will have the opportunity to show their creative projects and experimentations created at school, work or in their garages or kitchens, sharing their know-how and exchanging inspiring ideas. From a pedal-powered car to recycle crafting, anyone that takes creativity and turns it into an original project is a DIYer and is invited to register and participate in INNOVATOR.

The two-day interactive event is open to the public and includes an entertainment factor for the community to enjoy inspirational talks, workshops and signature shows.

What inspired you to pursue this project?

INNOVATOR is organised by the TDC, the government body responsible for supporting and supervising the development of science, technology and innovation (STI) within the emirate.

Building on the continuous success of the Abu Dhabi Science Festival, INNOVATOR is designed to cater to an older age group (15 years and above), providing a platform where like-minded makers come together in a platform that encourages and empowers creativity, interactivity and idea exchange.

The event is among TDC’s strategic initiatives and part of a wider plan geared towards building a talent base in STI.

When and where is the event happening?

INNOVATOR is an exciting community event for all ages to enjoy and will take place in March 2014. The dates and the venue will be announced in the near future.

How are you acquiring participants and marketing the event?

We are currently recruiting participants in a call-out campaign, asking them to register online for INNOVATOR 2014 by February 1; applicants can register at www.innovator.ae/application-form.aspx.

We are also reaching out to universities, science clubs and tech schools. For more information, please contact us at info@innovator.ae.

Can commercial entities (ie SMEs) participate?

Yes, commercial entities are definitely invited to participate.  SMEs and individuals have a dedicated corner at INNOVATOR, where they will have the chance to sell relevant products, such as 3D printers.  INNOVATOR gadgets will also be sold throughout the event, providing participants a chance to get their hands on some DIY resources that are difficult to find in the country.

Do you see this being like a community, as opposed to a one-off event?

INNOVATOR is aimed at demonstrating the growing DIY movement in the UAE and offering a platform for like-minded creative individuals to connect and showcase their creations to the wider community.

This event gives individuals the opportunity to inspire young minds, by sharing their creativity, know-how and a can-do DIY attitude.