Dubai – MENA Herald: The 4th edition of the Global Innovation Summit, the biggest congregation on innovation in the region, was held at Atlantis, The Palm. His Excellency Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, inaugurated the Summit and also presented the Disruptive Innovator Awards 2016.

The awards were meant to acknowledge technology game-changers and visionaries who strive to disrupt the regular for a better, smarter and happier future. The winners of the Disruptor Innovator Awards 2016 were Aster DM Healthcare for Aster 3D bionic hand (Best Innovation in Healthcare), Anagenesis Ecosystems Innovations Limited for Biomass (Best Innovation in Energy/Sustainability), and Helder Tech for E-Learning mobile app (Best Innovation in Education).

The theme for Global Innovation Summit and Awards 2016 was ‘Happiness and the Smart Future’. The conference was attended by 2,000 high profile delegates from different business verticals including those in the areas of Smart City, Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Mobile Innovation, 3D Printing, Wearable Tech, Smart Governance, Augmented Reality and more.

Delivering his keynote speech at the Summit, Al Janahi said the UAE has made remarkable strides in promoting innovation and sustainable development to bring happiness to citizens as well as residents in recent years thanks to the vision of the leadership and initiatives launched by various local and federal government agencies.

“At Dubai SME, we work to create a comprehensive support environment for entrepreneurs and innovators in varied areas of economic activity. In 2014, we launched the Hamdan Innovation Incubator, the largest of its kind incubator of innovative projects in the region, spread over a space of 20,000 square-foot. In addition, we have also organised several programmes and created partnerships with international bodies to promote SME competitiveness in innovation and adoption of new technologies, and we are proud that these initiatives have begun to bear fruit,” stated Al Janahi.

“The Hamdan Innovation Incubator supports entrepreneurs and innovators starting from developing their ideas in its ‘Idea Lab’ and helping through the processes of preparing feasibility studies and operational plans before incorporation,” Al Janahi said.

“Pursuing innovations in products, services and business models leads to more opportunities for entrepreneurs and SMEs. Dubai SME recently launched an investor network to encourage investment in innovative projects and their growth into global enterprises,” Al Janahi said, adding that Dubai SME is pleased to have been part of the Global Innovation Summit as it was an ideal platform for leading enterprises to connect with entrepreneurs, stimulate creativity and promote a spirit of innovation as well as to exchange experiences and ideas with people from different countries.

The 4th Summit continued the tradition of growth in size and participation, as in the three previous editions of the event. The event brought together an unrivalled and sought-after combination of thought leaders, innovative companies and government dignitaries who highlighted the importance of happiness and stressed on creating a roadmap to achieve the same. The speakers also shared their observations on how disruptive innovation and happiness can work together on various UAE business sectors, across panel discussions, workshops and exhibits of groundbreaking technology.

Lee Miles, General Manager, Middle East and Africa, Red Hat, said: “Information Technology today is no longer a support function but a driver of business growth and success. As such, CIOs and IT managers who demonstrate creative thinking and determined problem solving, and use technology innovatively are the ones that create real value for their organisations.

The Global Innovation Summit 2016 has been an excellent and much needed initiative in the Middle East and an excellent platform for Red Hat to demonstrate the transformative power of Open Source technology. Our company was recently named by Forbes as one of the world’s most innovative companies and we are keen to enter into discussions with conference attendees and showcase our innovations that have helped companies across the world increase efficiency and performance and save costs.”

The Global Innovation Summit has so far attracted 8,000 international delegates from Asia, Europe and the Middle East in its three years. The convention has seen a powerful amalgamation of globally renowned speakers and influential innovators, establishing itself as a trendsetter in the field of disruption and innovation.

“Technology and Innovation are the centrepiece of future businesses; and there could not have been a better place to experience the best of both worlds than at the Global Innovation Summit 2016. An amalgamation of amazing speakers, inspiring leaders and world-class innovative organisations, Global Innovation Summit 2016 was definitely the place to be”, said Shantanu Phansalkar, CEO of SPI Group and the organiser of the event.

The Global Innovation Summit and Awards 2016 played host to globally acclaimed speakers, experts and eminent panelists including Dr. Dalya Al Muthanna, President & CEO, GE Gulf; Sulaiman Al Mazmi, VP – ICT, Expo 2020, Dubai; Tim Jones, Founder of Future, Growth Agenda & Innovation Leaders, London; James Woudhuysen, Professor, South Bank University, London; Jabir Walji, Former Innovation Manager, Ashghal (Public Works Authority), Qatar; Richard Kastelein, Founder of Blockchain News, Netherlands; Hesham Metwalli, Public Policy and Education Reform advisor in MENA and Australia, Dr. Ali Alazzawi, City Experience Consultant, Smart Dubai Office, and Monique Mackinnon, Founder and CEO of Energetic Evolution, Canada, to name a few. They were eloquent about the varied aspects of innovation, the implications of disruptive innovation in varied industries and how continual innovation can create a smarter future.

The event was organized in partnership with Dubai SME and was supported by Red Hat, Nikon, Al Futtaim Motors Toyota and other leading brands.

Roberto Dasilva, General Manager of Toyota Retail at Al-Futtaim Motors, said: “Both Al-Futtaim Motors and the Global Innovation Summit believe in innovation-led initiatives and embracing forward-looking change. For more than six decades, Al-Futtaim Motors has continuously championed change for an enhanced customer relationship in a technologically advanced ecosystem, supporting the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.”