Saif bin Zayed opens Innovation Hub at UAE University

AL AIN, 7th February, 2018 (WAM) — Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, in cooperation with the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and the Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), have officially launched the ‘Innovation Hub, powered by Google’, in celebration of the Innovation Month, at the UAE University’s Science and Innovation Park in Al Ain.

The educational facility was inaugurated by H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior, in the presence of Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, Omar bin Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Dr. Ali Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) and Chairman of ADEK, Khalifa bin Salem Al Mansouri, Acting Undersecretary of the Department of Economic Development in Abu Dhabi, and Saif Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, as well as other government ministers and representatives of Google. The facility has been developed to help boost science and technology levels in the region, by equipping students with specific high-tech lessons, such as machine learning, application development, 3D printing and laser-cutting, amongst other tech industry practices.

Saif Ali Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, said, “I’m extremely proud that we’ve opened the Innovation Hub Powered by Google; it’s a state-of-the-art facility that will allow students to participate in valuable high-tech classes, which will benefit the next generation of talented minds here in the UAE. One of Al Bayt Mitwahid’s main goals is to continuously contribute towards the development of the innovation and tech industry, by collaborating with likeminded partners and creating innovative platforms which empower the youth, in order to create a prosperous future; we are positive that the Innovation Hub is exactly that. Alongside UAEU, ADEK and Google, we aim to achieve the long-term vision for the UAE by developing the innovative and technological skills of the country’s people.”

Dr. Ali Rashid Al Nuaimi, Chancellor of UAEU, stressed that, “Launching the ‘Innovation Hub powered by Google’ at UAEU, the nation’s flagship university, and in partnership with the Al Bayt Mitwahid Association, is a part of the UAE’s strategic agenda. This is an agenda that aims to enhance awareness of the importance of innovation and digital creativity. This initiative is aligned with UAEU’s vision of excellence and leadership, as well as meeting the needs of the labor market by developing the skills and capabilities of Emirati students, while encouraging young people to contribute to building and supporting a knowledge-based economy in the UAE. Artificial intelligence is the engine driving forward the fourth industrial revolution; it encourages companies around the world to design innovative products by using artificial intelligence. As the ‘University of the Future’, UAEU offers a great deal of expertise as the UAE makes a paradigm shift to a sustainable knowledge-based economy. It is thanks to the forward-thinking support of the nation’s leadership that innovation and creativity have become integral to UAE culture.”

Selim Eddé, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations at Google in MENA, added, “We are very excited about our collaboration with Al Bayt Mitwahid Association. The usage of internet and mobile app is expanding at a very fast pace in the Middle East and North Africa region; and it is necessary to equip the youth with the skills needed to be active contributors to this technological growth. At the innovation hub, students can benefit from a range of courses including machine learning which was used by Google engineers to develop programmes such as Google Translate. We look forward to seeing the impact of this hub on the youth of Al Ain and Abu Dhabi.”

The Innovation Hub is now open to receive applicants for their courses in the App Factory, MakerSpace and Machine Learning, where they can host up to 120 students per day. The Makers Space courses are applicable to students aged between 8 and 16, whereas the Machine Learning and App Factory courses, which include coding in virtual reality and lessons in robotics, are available to students aged between 16 and 24. The Hub has advised that all students aiming to attend should book their courses in advanced to guarantee their placement.

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