DIT Strategic Forum facilitates dialogue on the country’s Innovation roadmap

Published July 20th, 2009 - 11:52 GMT

DIT Strategic Forum facilitates dialogue on the country’s Innovation roadmap

In line with Dubai’s vision to create a sustainable knowledge-based society, Economic Zones World’s research and development arm, Dubai Institute of Technology (DIT), recently hosted the 'DIT Strategic Forum' to discuss new innovation systems and establish priorities in DIT's principal research sectors of Health, Water, Energy, Industrial Engineering and Logistics/Mobility (WHEEL).

Governmental leaders, industry specialists and academic experts were invited to contribute to discussions on DIT policy related to core economic sectors that are expected to shape the future of the country's Innovation and technology related growth.

Hamad Al Hashemi, Managing Director of DIT said: "DIT was formed with the intent of boosting the national's Innovation capabilities. Now that we have initiated the implementation phase of DIT, we thought it prudent to engage in dialogue with some of the top minds of the country on the direction that our core R&D activities should take."

Prominent industry leaders from the desalination company Metito, DUBAL, Dubiotech, Dubai Healthcare City, Khansaheb Engineering, Cedars International, Oilfields Supply Center, Agility Logistics, Intel, Mubadala and academicians from UAE University as well as the German R&D Leader institute Fraunhofer ME were some of the attendees of the Forum. The top Dubai World (DW) and Economic Zones World (EZW) leaders also participated in the forum.

“The DIT Strategic Forum was an opportunity to further assess and analyse trends and potential growth areas in the DIT development road map. Five specific topics were thoroughly discussed: Renewable energy, water desalination, R&D for sustainable logistics developments, applications in engineering and health were some of the topics under discussion. The Forum was a success because it engaged experts from different spheres on very relevant issues confronting us today. Moreover, it gave us the confidence that with the support of the scientific and industrial community, DIT will contribute significantly to the country's sustainable growth, "added Al Hashemi.

The Forum included five parallel sessions: Water, Health, Energy, Industrial Engineering, Logistics and Mobility. Each session was moderated by highly competent experts in research areas identified by DIT, in order to answer 4 critical questions: 1. Future applications crucial to each research area in UAE. 2. Technological challenges under local conditions – UAE 2015 and 2030. 3. Obstacles inhibiting innovation process in Dubai and the last one: Supporting structures/services needed to cope with these challenges.

Attendees of the 'Health' workshop agreed that increased R&D in Genetics, Biomedical Science, Clinical Science, Cancer, Molecular and Nano Science was crucial to the growth of the Health industry in the country. 

The 'Water' workshop participants stressed the need for a macro nationwide platform and enhanced research in improving water technology in desalination, waste water re-use and water management.  Solar Power, cooling and geothermal technologies led the energy discussions for the Forum.

Focus on improving energy consumption and operational efficiencies were considered important R&D areas for the logistics sector.  Participants cited research in renewable energy, waste processing, aluminium cell development, oil refineries and power management as vital applications for development in the Engineering Sector. 

Attendees unanimously agreed on supporting DIT initiatives and the need for an R&D support framework that harbours a culture of innovation and acts as an incubator for technology led- growth in the country and the region. 

As one of the most ambitious of Economic Zones World initiatives, DIT will set up clusters of excellence that will focus on areas in science and technology that are relevant to the region.  DIT aims to establish market-oriented support systems to boost industrial core sectors and contribute to the nation's long term economic progress.

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