ICT Fund signs AED71.1m deal for scholarships and research at Khalifa University
Deal will support scholarships and research grants in telecoms and ICT
The UAE ICT Fund has signed an agreement with Khalifa University to provide AED 71.1 million ($19.4m) to fund scholarships and research grants in the fields of telecommunications and ICT.
The deal will support 50 undergraduate student and 30 Master's students under the ‘Be'tha' program, and 10 faculty research projects grants, and is intended to nurture Emirati talent in the fields of science.
The signing ceremony was witnessed by His Highness Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince's Court Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University, as part of the launch of the University's Innovation Week activities.
HH Sheikh Hamed said during his visit that innovation has become imperative to the continued development required to build a sustainable knowledge-based economy, which will boost the UAE's regional and global position as a producer, and hub, of research and development.
His Highness added that the UAE's Innovation Week is an initiative that reflects the importance of innovation and cooperation between different institutions in the UAE, in order to achieve development goals and drive growth, particularly in the areas of information and communication technology and in various fields important to the present and the future of the UAE. Through these collaborations various academic institutions and government organisations will be able to provide ways to enable the youth of the UAE to lead the various vital sectors that will ensure an advanced level of prosperity for generations to come.
During his visit, HH Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed, toured Khalifa University's newly opened Aerospace Research and Innovation Center (ARIC), which was founded in collaboration with Mubadala Aerospace for the manufacture of advanced materials. His Highness was also briefed on a number of projects that Khalifa University students are involved with, which included a system for the design, modelling and control of hybrid Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's), a smart fabric for electrocardiogram (ECG) and blood pressure measurements, and a next generation mobile health biological chip, to mention a few.
The university also hosted an Entrepreneurship Competition, to teach students how to market their ideas and establish start-up companies.
Dr Abdul Qader Ibrahim Khayat, Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the ICT Fund said that the ‘Be'tha' initiative falls within the framework of the TRA's strategy for the development of Emiratis specially trained in the fields of telecommunications and information technology, and it is concerned with the support and sponsorship of outstanding students so that they can take part in the construction and development of ongoing major projects in the UAE, including recent saw initiatives in smart government and smart cities. The initiative also responds to the growing demand for national human capital in field of telecommunications and other related areas. The TRA has worked to assess the status of Emiratization, and specialised human resources, in these fields, and has developed a plan for the advancement of this matter through supporting outstanding students involved in these fields.
The Be'tha program was launched in 2013 to support the objectives of the 2021 Vision, by helping to develop high-level educational opportunities in telecoms and IT, to develop national priorities.
Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Khalifa University's Executive Vice President thanked the ICT Fund for their continued support of the Universities various initiatives and research activities. This strategic partnership with ICT Fund will advance scientific research and provide for the provision of graduate coursework programs and enrich the experience of professional researchers in the fields of information and communication technology.