Dubai – MENA Herald: In line with the declaration of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, that 2015 is the ‘Year of Innovation’ in the UAE,’ and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to celebrate this ‘Year of Innovation’ through a unique, weeklong Festival across the UAE dubbed ‘UAE Innovation Week’ from November 22 to 28, the Supreme Committee of UAE Innovation Week held its first meeting to agree the general framework and roles and responsibilities of key stakeholders to ensure that the Week is successfully executed.

UAE Innovation Week will be a strong testament to a consolidated effort by government entities, the private sector, and individuals to embrace innovation practices to help strengthen the country’s position as a global innovation hub, build innovation capabilities, and accelerate the development and launch of new ideas and initiatives, thus creating a widespread culture of innovation in the UAE.

The meeting was attended by His Excellency Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Chairman of the National Innovation Committee, and Chairman of The Supreme Committee of UAE Innovation Week; H.E Dr. Ahmed Al Mazroui, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi; H.E Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai; HE Saeed Saif Al Matrooshi, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Ajman; HE Dr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Khalifa, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Ras Al Khaimah; H.E Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani, Director of the Emiri Diwan of Fujairah; Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office; and Huda Al Hashemi, Director of Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation.

The Supreme Committee members unanimously stressed the need to reinforcing national efforts to support this initiative, which will include celebrating individual innovators in the UAE. The initiative seeks to provide these innovators with tangible opportunities to exchange experiences and promote outstanding innovations, providing a ripple effect on UAE society as a whole and stimulating the creation of an “innovation-driven” generation.

HE Mohammed Al Gergawi said “UAE Innovation Week also comes within the framework of supporting the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy aimed at making the country one of the most innovative in the world around seven major sectors, namely renewable energy, technology, water, transportation, space, education and healthcare, by engaging all segments of society”. He additionally emphasized the need to intensify preparations nation-wide to mark UAE Innovation Week.

H.E. Dr. Ahmed Al Mazroui, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi, said the UAE Innovation Week will be a national event that reflects the leadership directions to adopt innovative work at the official and community levels. H.E. Dr. Al Mazroui called for the active participation of all sectors to make the Week a success.

H.E. Abdullah Al Shaibani, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Dubai, said: “The UAE Innovation Week emphasises the leadership approach to build the foundations of an innovative and knowledge-based society led by qualified Emirati talents capable of embracing the vision of the future. The Week will promote a national work culture that will become a defining element of the society and the people of the UAE.”

He added that the ideas represent a quantum leap towards the future in line with the directives of the leadership, and demonstrates the innovative capabilities of the Dubai government employees.

H.E. Sultan Ali Bin Butti Al Muhairi, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Sharjah, said the UAE Innovation Week comes as an occasion to mobilise national capacities and enhance efficiencies of innovators. The Week will provide an opportunity to display innovations and celebrate their innovative achievements, H.E. Al Muhairi added.

H.E. Saeed Saif Al Matrooshi, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Ajman, said: “This is a national occasion to celebrate innovators and innovations. This annual event opens up possibilities to inspire new generations to keep pace with latest development based on innovative foundations.”

H.E. Nasser Saeed Al Tallai, Director of the Emiri Diwan of Umm Al Quwain, said UAE Innovation Week is a comprehensive initiative shared by all members of the community in the UAE, making it the ideal occasion to showcase innovative achievements, share knowledge and exchange experiences.

H.E. Dr. Mohammed Abdul Latif Khalifa, Secretary General of the Executive Council of Ras Al Khaimah, said the UAE is moving forward in the adoption of innovative practices to improve people’s lives, work and services. This annual event to celebrate the innovation will motivate progressive steps at various levels and help raise the competitiveness of the UAE to the highest levels.

H.E. Mohammed Saeed Al Dhanhani, Director of the Emiri Diwan of Fujairah, said the UAE will celebrate innovators and their innovations with the support of the leadership and encourage the building of innovation incubators and R&D centres.

Supreme Committee invited government, the private sector, academic institutions and individuals to submit proposals that will enrich UAE Innovation Week. Proposals can include activities such as exhibition showcases of innovative products and services, the launch of new national initiatives, hackathons and competitions, interactive programs such as labs and workshops, engaging talk sessions, fun evening activities in public places, or any other innovative ideas that will define UAE Innovation Week as one of the most important events in the UAE in 2015.

In order the set the wheels in motion, the Supreme Committee approved the formation of local committees under the chairmanship of the Executive Councils in the UAE to receive the proposals and coordinate the various activities across the country.