Sunday 17, July 2016

Dubai – MENA Herald: The UAE Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) opened today (Sunday, July 17, 2016) the 2nd edition of its ‘Summer Innovation Camp,’ a month-long initiative that will run until August 18, 2016. The initiative has been designed to cultivate the spirit of innovation and creativity among the young Emiratis, while also teaching them more about the local telecommunications and information technology (IT) sectors, through different events and activities held throughout the country.

This year’s edition of the event has been developed to support reading-based activities in support of 2016 being declared as the Year of Reading by UAE President His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed and under the directive of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. The move aims to further develop a continuous reading habit among today’s youth. In addition, this year’s event will also see the opening of two camps for girls for the first time.

The TRA noted that interest in the event has grown dramatically and the eight camps set up in Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Ras Al Kahimah, Fujairah and Al Ain have further exceeded their seat capacity this year, even as the federal agency already expanded the camp this year from last year’s to accommodate the growing number of students (aged 6 to 17) wishing to join the camp.

H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General, TRA, said, “Our summer innovation camp is being held with the efforts to enhance and further develop a culture of innovation and creativity among UAE youth, while also teaching them more about the important role played by the telecommunications and IT segments in the country’s growth. The camp also seeks to plant the seeds of knowledge and encourage them to improve their talents, skills and competencies. These young Emirati talents will help continue the growth and development of the UAE in the future. Under the directives of H.E. Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE President, the camp offers an environment that throws the spotlight on innovation, which reinforces the UAE’s leading global position in this field.”

H.E. Al Mansoori emphasized that the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority Summer Innovation Camp is a significant step to engage the UAE children and youth in worthwhile activities and further enhance their talents and creative skills. He further highlighted that this edition will focus on strengthening UAE goals and initiatives specifically for children and youth such as the 2016 declaration on the ‘Year of Reading’, and further developing programmes that allows creativity and innovation among them. The success of last year’s camp has pushed the TRA to expand its seat capacity this year and to open a special camp for female students for the first time, which recorded the most number of students wishing to participate in the event, he explained, adding that discovering skills and building the future of young UAE Nationals is one of the main objectives of the TRA’s corporate social responsibility programmes.

The ‘2nd Summer Innovation Camp’ will feature 24 different activities, which primarily focus on skills development in technical and IT, sports and personality assessment. There will also be cultural sessions to explore a range of selected books in line with the 2016 Year of Reading, as well as special sessions particularly in strengthening the moral values of the UAE society in the minds of students, the “UAE Al Sanaie”, the group of concepts, customs and traditions of UAE community, provided by the Watani AL Emarat Foundation.

The TRA Summer Camp initiative that was launched in 2015 offered participants many activities, which were developed to establish a culture of innovation among them. These activities included robotics, mobile applications development, the safe use of the internet and other technology-focused programs, in addition to other activities that aimed to enrich the student’s personality and life skills through leadership courses, building towers, healthy nutrition and financial administration.

The inaugural camp held last year was a huge success for the TRA with exceptional registration turnout as the target number was about 900 students, but the camp registered a total of 1, 232 students and a completion rate of 136.8 per cent. Participants and their families also highly commended the camp and expressed their feedbacks saying that they have seen a positive change in their children.