Saturday 21, November 2015

Dubai – MENA Herald: Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has announced that it will launch innovative initiatives in conjunction with the inaugural UAE Innovation Week which will start on November 22, 2015 and runs until the 28th. The initiatives have been developed in response to the directives of H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation.’ The week also builds on the National Innovation Strategy which was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, as a primary means to achieve UAE Vision 2021’s goals.

To stimulate new creative ideas in support of the objectives of the National Innovation Strategy, HBMSU will hold a series of ‘iHackathons’ which will address a group of important issues under the titles of ‘21st Century Leadership Skills,’ ‘New Channels of Creativity and Innovation,’ ‘Innovative Product and Service Development,’ ‘ICT-Driven Teaching and Learning Quality Assurance,’ and ‘Project, Problem and Product-based Learning.’

The ‘21st Century Leadership Skills’ iHackathon targets managers, executives and supervisors from the public and private sectors. It will discuss five major themes, namely, ‘Skills of 21st century Leader,’ ‘Creative Leader,’ ‘Lead the Team to Success and Excellence,’ ‘Change Leadership,’ and ‘Leadership in Times of Crisis and Risks.’ The ‘New Channels of Creativity and Innovation’ iHackathon, on the other hand, is intended for senior management and introduces participants to new interactive channels of creativity and innovation at the workplace through a network of meaningful games (3D shapes) that help  solve workplace problems, overcome challenges, and create and innovate from different perspectives.

The ‘Innovative Product and Service Development’ iHackathon is of particular importance as it embodies HBMSU’s efforts to support the government’s drive towards optimal investment in human resources and drawing out creativity from youths to achieve excellence and leadership. Its agenda includes video presentations on new innovative ideas for young entrepreneurs as well as discussions of effective strategies for turning ideas into projects that generate tangible revenues and become important additions to the business community.

The ‘Project, Problem and Product based-Learning’ (P3BL) iHackathon also aims to provide learners with meaningful learning experiences primarily related to enhancing inquisitive, deductive, research and active knowledge skills through the use of the P3BL model which involves the development of the ability to write a project idea, implement it, and come up with a prototype that can be transformed into a successful and profitable service or product.

As a reflection of its belief in the importance of establishing quality in education, learning, and scientific research to advance the UAE’s transformation into one of the world’s leading knowledge-based economies, HBMSU will offer the ‘ICT-Driven Teaching and Learning Quality Assurance’ iHackathon as a platform for identifying quality requirements in technology-based education such as ‘smart’ learning, e-Learning, and open education. This iHackathon will also enlighten participants on how to assess the quality of institutions by using an innovative method of self-evaluation.

Moreover, this particular event will include a detailed explanation of the criteria and indicators of the Middle East e-Learning Quality Framework (MeLQ), audits and accreditation, and how to carry out interactive discussions on real-life cases on quality in education through the use of technology.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of HBMSU, said: “HBMSU led by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and President of HBMSU, has prepared an integrated portfolio of initiatives that support the directives of our wise leadership to stimulate creativity and transform innovation into corporate work that ultimately reflects positively on the local community as a whole. Our initiatives are primarily centered on key aspects that form the backbone of overall development, particularly corporate innovation, leadership excellence, quality in the smart education, and creativity.”

Dr. Al Awar added: “Our combined initiatives are part of efforts to foster a culture of innovation and creativity as well as drive optimal investments into human capital capable of advancing ‘smart’ transformation. We look forward to supporting the objectives of ‘UAE Vision 2021’ geared towards building a competitive economy led by individuals with the necessary knowledge and creativity to make the UAE one of the most advanced countries in the world by 2021.”

“Our participation in UAE Innovation Week forms part of our tireless efforts to work under the guidance of H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan with his declaration of 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation’ and help fulfill the vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world in line with the objectives of the National Innovation Strategy,” he concluded.

HBMSU is preparing to host the First Higher Education and Research Policies Forum which is being organized by the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research under the title ‘National Agenda of Research and Innovation’ on the sidelines of UAE Innovation Week 2015. The university also plans to launch a “Junior Developer” certificate using ‘KODU’ and a ‘Jr. Entrepreneurship Program for the Youth’ both of which are aimed at children and youths – at the HBMSU’s KidZania Platform in Dubai Mall.