Dubai – MENA Herald: Dubai Smart Government Department (DSG) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with MIT Connection Science Group (MITCSG) & Analytics Center (AC) during Smartcon Dubai 2015, as part of a series of initiatives from DSG in participation and solidarity with the ‘UAE Innovation Week’ held from 22nd to 28th November, under the patronage of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, President of the UAE and launched by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The MoU was signed at Smartcon Dubai 2015, a prestigious conference being conducted by MITCSG & AC, which brings together the world’s greatest thinkers and practitioners on Big Data, Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence & Advanced Analytics. The conference was held on the 23rd and 24th of November at Jumeirah Beach Hotel and Dubai Smart Government was proud to be the patron sponsor and strategic partner.

Commenting on the MoU during the signing ceremony at Jumeirah Beach Hotel, H.E. Ahmad Bin Humaidan, DSG Director General, said: “We are pleased to sign this MoU and collaborate with such distinguished partners as MITSCG & AC; so that together we can be aligned with Dubai Smart Government’s strategy, objectives and challenges; and conduct joint academic research on big data, innovation in smart city living and IoT all with the objective of making Dubai the smartest, most innovative and happiest city in the world, in accordance with the desires of HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”

Bin Humaidan added: “Signing this MoU demonstrates our commitment to innovation by working with world class and leading academics from MIT, to get deep insights into leveraging technology and human networks to design and implement tools to create a happy society to live in a smart city such as Dubai. The MoU will complement and contribute to our strategic mission which is to formulate and implement policies and initiatives for innovative and smart ICT usage contributing to economic welfare, social progress and global competitiveness of Dubai.”

Meanwhile, Prof. Alex Pentland, Faculty Director of MITCSG said:  I look forward to discussions with Dubai Smart Government because together we have the possibility of creating a happier, more productive, and more creative city society by better understanding the social ties and relationships that make up the society, and then crafting ICT policies and architectures which build off of and leverage this social fabric.”

On his part, Caglar Gogus, Managing Director of Analytics Center and Co-Founder of the Smartcon Conference said: “We have been following the significant innovation drive in the UAE and vision of HH Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed, President of the UAE and HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, with great admiration. We believe that the Country’s National Innovation Strategy will not only enable the government to be a world-leading example in innovative practices, but also further strengthen the country’s position as a hub of creativity and a magnet for the world’s most progressive companies and individuals.”

Gogus added: “We as a company have a clear mission of supporting the entire eco-system of new and disruptive technologies around big data, Internet of Things and advanced analytics. We believe such capabilities are going to be key for the UAE in its next big leap forward and our collaboration with DSG is a sign of our commitment to this cause. Our Center provides trainings and advisory in emerging technologies, big data and innovation and organizes strategic summits in major hubs under the Smartcon brand.”

The signing of the MoU was preceded with a keynote address by H.E Ahmad Bin Humaidan, DSG’s Director General. Following the MoU, DSG’s Assistant Director General, Wesam Lootah took part in a panel discussion entitled ‘Big Ideas for Smart Governments’ which discussed the transformational impact of big data on the public sector and how the digitization of government services could have value creation for Dubai.

Other than the MoU, and DSG’s patronage of SmartCon Dubai 2015, DSG also conducted a series of public and private events to create awareness of its innovative smart services and to bolster support and solidarity with the UAE Innovation Week. This included the setting up of a Customer Experience Lab (CX Lab) at Mirdif City Centre for testing user experiences on some of DSG’s smart services such as Dubai Now, mJobs and MyID; with a special focus on those with special needs or the disabled. It also conducted 2 workshops for government employees on DSG’s strategy and Big Data Personalization; a public workshop on information security, a LinkedIn group within Dubai Government to exchange best practices on innovation and a social media smart QA session.