Under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Chancellor of UAEU, the UAEU Annual Research and Innovation Conference (2015) opened under the 'UAE Innovates' banner on Tuesday, November 24th, 2015, in the Crescent Building at the university. This was part of UAEU Innovation Week and also part of a strategic vision to disseminate knowledge to the community and achieve excellence at regional and global levels.
His Excellency Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment, welcomed the delegates for this two day event. He said that this helped to celebrate and support innovation at UAEU with participation from students and also the Graduate Studies Department. This is designed to complement the strategic direction of the UAE towards enhancing leadership, excellence, and innovation in education. UAEU's vision and strategy includes reviewing research projects and innovations in important sectors such as health, education, technology, the humanities, social sciences, renewable energy, water, transport, communications and space exploration in line with the needs of the country.
Dr. Al Kaabi stressed that the conference showcased research studies by university students in various areas and shares their findings. This helps to provide a platform for cooperation in terms of research and the review of their findings and potential innovations. The university has strategic partners in the UAE and abroad with which it exchanges of expertise. The university also hosts innovations, implements recommendations and develops research curricula and methodology to enhance creativity and innovation. He expressed pride in the students and researchers.
Professor Nagi Wakim, Dean of the College of Graduate Studies, reviewed the themes of the conference. This includes the transfer of innovative thinking into viable research projects. He explained that there were 200 research papers in the conference including projects, new applications and models of research projects and innovative products in a variety of different fields.
Professor Wakim described the conference as an incubator for innovation, especially in terms of public health, life sciences, information technology, engineering, the physical sciences, the humanities, social sciences, education, economics, business administration, and law. All of these subjects were covered by research papers during the conference.
Professor Wayne Patterson of Howard University (USA), the keynote speaker, talked about scientific innovation and gave a presentation on how to merge a number of different disciplines into a single project in order to produce new solutions and evolve a common scientific language for the different disciplines. He also reviewed some innovative projects regarding mathematics, physics, chemistry and the natural sciences. He discussed how to utilize a business model in research projects in order to come up with new ideas and products. He gave examples of successful models such as the development of the 'UNIX' operating system by Bell Laboratories, the American National Center for Innovation in Bio-Engineering and Natural Sciences Project; and the use of three-dimensional techniques for monitoring DNA.
Professor Patterson said that work was under way with a global research team from the Philippines, Australia, Cameroon, Kenya, Tanzania and some Europe, on an integrated research program. Researchers around the world will exchange research findings and working papers. He added that UAEU had been invited to join this global research team and was the first university from the Gulf and greater Middle-East region to be asked to do so.
At the end of the conference, delegates visited an exhibition to review projects by students and researchers from UAEU and a panel discussion on research initiatives took place.
The Abu Dhabi Company for Onshore Oil Operations Ltd. (ADCO), the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), and the UAEU Science and Innovation Park, were the co-sponsors of the conference.