Experts pitch Dubai as next tech hub
Dubai can be transformed into a science and technology hub in the Middle East through technology evaluation, which will encourage small and medium enterprises, or SMEs, to invest into innovation and manufacturing, industry experts said during the first roundtable discussion on technology evaluation organised by Micro Automation Industries, a Jebel Ali-based manufacturer.
The event, held in cooperation with Dubai SME, the agency of the Department of Economic Development in Dubai, identified methodologies and criteria to evaluate and select advanced technology appropriate to be settled or supported in the UAE.
“Technology evaluation is very important for any economy as witnessed in developed countries,” said Hazim Al Hajjaj, CEO of Micro Automation Industries. “This will help Dubai to further flourish and diversify the economy. It is crucial for the government in its endeavour to advance the manufacturing and industrial sector by giving it greater credence.”
The meeting was part of a series of discussions scheduled to be held throughout the year with Dubai SME members. About 30 UAE-based SMEs attended the discussion. According to Al Hajjaj, with knowledge-based capital driving investment and productivity in the 21st century, technology evaluation becomes critical to avoid clustering of inappropriate technology.
Harry Wouters, business strategy advisor at Micro Automation Industries in Belgium, said, “technology evaluation will serve as a measurement tool in creating a strategy, which will enable government policies to support the priority areas in the UAE on a macro level like bio-technology, nanotechnology, information technology, digital and electronics, among others.”
Other points discussed during the event were the techniques used in evaluation from developed countries, suggested framework for evaluation and the role the government can play to attract critical added-value technologies emerging in Dubai.
Dr. Abdulhaleem Aman, technology advisor at Micro Automation Industries in Germany, said that some of the challenges that Dubai is currently facing in the technology sector are the lack of support from financial institutions to SMEs and the environment is not right for research and development activities.