Intel® VP: Fostering an Innovation Economy in the Middle East

Intel® VP: Fostering an Innovation Economy in the Middle East
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Published September 27th, 2010 - 16:23 GMT

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Dubai
,
Intel Capital
,
Intel Corporation
,
Thomas Kilroy
,
UAE Ministry of Education
,
Omani Ministry of Education

Intel Corporation Senior Vice President and General Manager Sales and Marketing Group, Thomas Kilroy, said that technology is critical to establishing robust and vibrant innovation economies in the Middle East. He made these comments during a keynote speech in Dubai today addressing key industry and government officials. The visit marks the fifth anniversary of the Intel Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East.

Kilroy reaffirmed Intel's commitment to the Middle East by expanding the Intel Digital Transformation Initiative for the Middle East in order to support a sustained economic growth in the Middle East region by building local innovation and research capacity through an educated and competitive workforce. Intel will focus on three main pillars; Promote Research, Inspire Innovation and Enhance Education. Each pillar has a set mandate to assist the regions educational and global economic competitiveness:

Promote Research: Build innovation capacity in the region by promoting research and higher education.Inspire Innovation: Support sustained economic growth in the Middle East through local collaborations and partnerships aimed at bridging the digital divide and fostering innovation.Enhance Education: Support education transformation through innovative education programs, technology, and resources help improve teaching and learning in the region.

Under each area of focus Intel has set ambitious targets to ensure the Middle East stays on course towards global competitiveness. Striving to incubate up to 100 researchers from the region every year through collaboration with research institutes and universities, Intel will continue the expansion of successful and proven education programs to 15 countries and train 1.5 million teachers by 2014, preparing students to compete in the 21st century. As part of the initiative to encourage scientific discovery Intel will be organizing a local Science Competition by the end of this year. The event is set to act as a platform for talented students to compete at Intel's global International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) which is held annually in the United States.

The initiative also seeks to build capacity and pipeline through the introduction of leading technology and entrepreneurial education at university levels, assisting students and upcoming entrepreneurs across 10 countries.

"Through expanding the Digital Transformation Initiative we are committed to helping countries across the Middle East grow the regional economy with increased competitiveness to meet the challenges of today, as well as being better prepared for the unforeseen challenges of tomorrow." stated Kilroy.

With a population of 300 million with more than 50 per cent of them under the age of 24, education and research are core components of economic development in the Middle East. Intel will work closely with local and regional governments to assist them develop and enhance their education systems to build capacity amongst the region's youth. The expansion of Intel's global education program, 'Intel® Teach', a professional development program that helps both experienced and pre-service teachers to integrate technology into the classroom, will become a focal point supporting the Intel's drive for educational transformation in the region.

Reinforcing the importance of education, Intel today signed an agreement with the UAE Ministry of Education to train teachers and supervisors. The company also recently announced (May 24th 2010) an agreement with the Omani Ministry of Education to introduce 'Intel Teach' in their curriculum.

"For the Arab world to become truly competitive we have to tackle regional issues with a multifaceted approach." commented Samir Al Schamma, Intel's Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. "By developing education, providing platforms for enhanced innovation and opportunities for research we believe the youth of today will be able to make a positive contribution towards Middle Eastern economic development."

Aiding its team in their bid to foster innovation, Intel Capital, Intel Corporation's global investment organization, will continue to seek out technology companies in the region. With a history of pioneering successful technology investments in developing markets to foster growth and innovation, the team will strive to seek out companies developing ground-breaking hardware, software, local content, and services.

Wrapping up his keynote Kilroy stated, "Over the last five years, we trained 850,000 teachers in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, invested in eight companies through Intel Capital, and last year alone we incubated almost 50 researchers from the region. These investments, be they educational, monetory or consultancy time are part of our efforts to help the Arab world truly become a global competitor. We believe this region has tremendous potential and look forward to building further successful collaborations. 

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