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The newly established Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) has today announced its plans to drive the creation of future transformative technologies with the launch of its dedicated technology programme management pillar, ASPIRE.

ASPIRE works in consultation with cross-sector industry stakeholders to frame problem statements that can be solved through research and development. By defining the problem, setting milestones, and monitoring the progress of the projects, ASPIRE facilitates a clear path from ‘lab to market.’ ASPIRE will make impactful decisions related to the selection of research partners and the allocation of funding. It will ensure that its R&D priorities align with Abu Dhabi and the UAE's broader development goals.

ASPIRE will also launch grand challenges which will bring together local and global innovators to work on crucial research that aims to solve the world’s most pressing problems. Spearheading such competitions will strengthen Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s position as an international hub for advanced technology research.

In three months since the first Advanced Technology Research Council board meeting, ASPIRE has started designing several grand challenges and international competitions in advanced technology. ASPIRE will also run the Mohamed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC), the biennial international robotics competition which has a US$5 million prize fund. In addition, ASPIRE is set to launch a global competition in partnership with the XPRIZE Foundation. The global competition is funded by Ghadan 21, Abu Dhabi's accelerator programme, which is driving the emirate's development by investing in business, innovation and people.

Speaking about the launch of ASPIRE, His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of Advanced Technology Research Council, said: "Ideas are what power our global economies and societies. As such, we seek to make the innovation process more accessible. By managing and investing in pertinent research and development projects, we have the opportunity to address some of the world's most critical challenges — enabling us to transition to a better tomorrow.”

Advanced Technology Research Council was established to set the R&D priorities for Abu Dhabi. A first of its kind research and technology body in the Middle East region, the Council is mandated to guide breakthrough discovery and disruption, ‘applied research’ and advanced technologies with 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 the knowledge-based economy.

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