Dubai – MENA Herald: Under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU), the Innovation Arabia 9 Congress kicked off today (Monday, March 7, 2016) under the theme ‘Accelerating Innovation Towards Sustainable Economy.’ Organized by HBMSU, the event was attended by high-profile government officials, decision and policy makers, intellectuals, academics, researchers, consultants, and entrepreneurs from all over the world, including H.E. Lieutenant General Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, Deputy Chairman of Police and General Security in Dubai and Chairman of the University’s Board of Governors. The congress commenced with a series of extensive discussions on the latest international developments and the best practices to sharpen research capabilities in the Arab World and consolidate the culture of innovation and creativity as a key cornerstone for sustainable and comprehensive development.

Innovation Arabia 9 focuses on the current outputs and future prospects related to innovation in the fields of smart learning, health and environment. In addition, it emphasizes on spreading the best quality practices which lay down the foundations to achieve the ambitious objectives of building a robust, integrated, knowledge-based, and excellence-driven economy in the Arab World. The discussions are addressed at the three concurrent conferences, namely; Quality and Business Management, Health and Environment, and Smart Learning Excellence.

The opening day of Innovation Arabia 9 offered an ideal opportunity to build robust partnerships and reinforce international collaboration in developing the educational sector based on the latest smart technologies and promoting scientific research to re-shape the future of local, regional and international development. HBMSU has entered into a strategic partnership with The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization – International Bureau of Education and the Secretariat of the International Task Force on Teachers UNESCO (IBE, ED/ESC/TED) to implement the ‘Post-Graduate Diploma in Curriculum Design and Development (PGDCDD) in the Arab World.’ The new cooperation is of great importance as it highly contributes to the Arab educational industry as it offers a solid ground to raise the bar on the potential of industry-related decision and policy makers and faculty members in the Arab World to enhance the quality of curriculums and thereby provide innovative, high-quality education that addresses the fast-emerging changes of the 21st century.

Also, Dr. Al Awar signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Professor Maria Amata Jaretto, Rector of Telematica Internazionale (UNINETTUNO), an Italian university, and Consultant for the Minister of Higher Education for creativity and technology in Italy, in order to explore the prospects of academic cooperation and scientific research in the mutual fields of interest, as well as putting a clearer direction in the establishment and management of joint training centers between the two universities to deliver world-class scientific and training services that fall in line with the rapid developments imposed by the digital era.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor, HBMSU, delivered the opening speech at the congress, expressing his delight at the high confidence and trust given by local, regional and international professionals to the University. He commended the unlimited support of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed to this event which has proved, in the last few years, to be an excellent interactive platform to strengthen public-private relations and build effective partnerships to support the socio-economic development in the Arab World and address the requirements of the 21st century.

“This confidence urges us to continue with our efforts to positively support Dubai’s and the UAE’s leadership in the spread, transfer, production and nationalization of knowledge in the Arab region and beyond, as well as facilitate optimal investment in innovation, creativity and scientific research. Through Innovation Arabia, we look forward to establish common frameworks to make the best of the promising young capabilities in order to build a knowledge-based society in line with the vision and directives of the UAE’s wise leadership,” Al Awar added.

“Innovation Arabia 9 complements our success over the past years in opening effective channels of communication and discussion amongst leading influencers from various industries related to business management, quality, smart learning excellence, health, and environment to find effective solutions to drive development in the Arab World. Inspired by Dubai’s vision, the 9th edition of the event follows an ambitious approach aimed at finding new strategies to shape a secure and sustainable future for the coming generations through innovation which is currently gaining great importance as an urgent requirement to promote competitiveness in international landscape. We hope that these extensive discussions will yield positive results in terms of bolstering intellectual, research and leadership excellence in the Arab World by establishing a roadmap to support creative ideas and recognize positive imprints of leaders in the fields of education, environment, health, quality and business,” Al Awar concluded.

HBMSU continued the events of the first day by celebrating the graduation of the members of the professional diplomas programs, which has been specially designed to provide learners with a high level of expertise in the fields of leadership, innovation, institutional innovation and change management among others– paving the way for them to make valuable contributions to support the development process in the Arab world and to translate the goals of ‘UAE Vision 2021’ in building a competitive knowledge-based economy. Certificates were submitted to a group of young Emiratis and national leaders, which were composed of 65 graduates from the ‘Comprehensive smart program in leadership skills,’ 51 graduates from the ‘Comprehensive smart program in assessment of excellence programs,’ along with 29 graduates from the ‘Professional Diploma for innovation leaders in Government sector.’

H.E. Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company PJSC (du), delivered a speech that praised the efforts of HBMSU in launching ‘Innovation Arabia 9,’ which has succeeded in becoming an international and leading platform for enriched thinking and knowledge transfer among regional and international communities. Sultan stressed on the importance of focusing on innovation as a vital tool to improve education, health and quality and supporting the building of an integrated knowledge-based economy while also promoting environmental security to achieve a more secure and sustainable future in the Arab world.

Sultan added, “We are honored to join a group of influential personalities to explore the best means available in embracing creativity and innovation, especially in terms of smart learning, which is a fundamental pillar to support transforming Dubai into the smartest city in the world falling in line with the directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

Innovation Arabia 9 offers a strategic platform to enable scholars from different disciplines and areas around the world to submit research papers and extensive studies based on best practices and solutions to bridge the growing gap between theoretical and practical aspects across key areas such as ‘Quality and Business Management,’ ‘Health and Environment,’ and ‘Smart Learning Excellence.’ The conference also revealed the latest emerging trends in the transition process to knowledge-based economies in the Arab world during round-table meetings, workshops, lectures and official and non-official panel discussions held over the last three days.