31 October 2020
His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of the Board of Advanced Technology Research Council, attended a workshop with the first 45 UAE national talents selected for the Advanced Technology Research Council’s (ATRC) newly launched ‘NexTech’ programme.
The programme aims to propel exceptional Emirati talent in the fields of research and technology and follows directions from Sheikh Khaled to nurture talent and encourage youth to explore careers in advanced technology, in line with the Emirate’s ongoing investment in knowledge development.
The workshop was also attended by board members Her Excellency Sara Awad Issa Musallam, His Excellency Mohammad Ali Al Shorafa Al Hammadi, and Her Excellency Dr. Shaikha Salem Al Dhaheri, as well as His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of the Advanced Technology Research Council. During the workshop, Sheikh Khaled discussed the research being conducted, what the researchers had learnt so far and what they hope to achieve through their research, for Abu Dhabi and the world.
HE Al Bannai said: "The UAE has extraordinary home-grown talent that we want to identify and empower in advanced technology. By launching NexTech, we are taking decisive steps to build national competencies and develop our knowledge-based economy at an accelerated pace.”
Within two months of the first board meeting, ATRC, which was recently established to set the research and development (R&D) priorities for Abu Dhabi, is executing three core initiatives to empower UAE national talent under the NexTech programme, including:
An outreach and engagement drive conducted in partnership with the Ministry of Education, the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge and local universities, to inspire UAE national youth in the domains of science and advanced technology, and to ensure a pipeline of aspiring next generation talent.
A rigorous talent scouting initiative to fast-track or support exceptional talent in R&D career paths that help push the boundaries of advanced technology exploration. Shortlisted candidates will undergo assessment and a highly competitive selection process. Selected candidates will be hired at ATRC’s applied research pillar, the Technology Innovation Institute (TII).
An empowerment initiative that directs selected talent to the TII’s proprietary or collaborative research projects.
Since the August 2020 board meeting, in line with its agile approach, ATRC has moved rapidly to fulfill His Highness’s directions. The 45 UAE nationals currently hired are the first of a total of 125 in the first phase. They will work across more than 25 long-term collaborative projects in partnership with more than 20 world-leading universities and research centres in the US, UK, Spain, Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Colombia.
They will be working at the forefront of breakthrough technology research at TII’s initial seven dedicated centres in quantum, autonomous robotics, cryptography, advanced materials, digital security, directed energy and secure systems.
TII will also partner with corporations, SMEs, and start-ups, bringing together a vibrant new intellectual community that will develop breakthrough technologies that have a global impact.
ATRC is a first-of-its-kind research and technology body in the Middle East region and is mandated to guide breakthrough discovery and disruption, ‘applied research’ and advanced technologies. It has a commitment to long-term funding for greater influence and impact across the R&D ecosystem, and the UAE more broadly.
The council reinforces Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s status as a global hub for innovation and contributes to the development of a knowledge-based economy.