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University of Dubai, IBM plan Smart City Institute

Centre to focus on research of big data, cloud and social business, organisations say

The deal was signed by Dr Easa Bastaki, president of the University of Dubai, and Amr Refaat, general manager of IBM Middle East and Pakistan
The deal was signed by Dr Easa Bastaki, president of the University of Dubai, and Amr Refaat, general manager of IBM Middle East and Pakistan

IBM and the University of Dubai today unveiled plans to establish a Smarter Cities Institute, a centre designed to test and develop smart city solutions.

The centre will also focus on curriculum development around mobility, cloud, security and business analytics, the two organisations said in a joint statement. They claimed that this would help to equip the next generation of professionals with the skills needed to support smart city agendas.

"Our mission at the University of Dubai is to develop and educate the future leaders of the country who will make a difference in the business world and play a major role in the Smart Dubai agenda," said Dr Easa Bastaki, president of the University of Dubai.

"By collaborating with a global leader like IBM, we will be able to support the development of a strong human capital innovation ecosystem and expand our research capabilities to address the societal and economical challenges inherent to the smart cities urban development."

Located at the University of Dubai's campus, the centre will also allow for the research of big data, cloud computing and social business, the organisations said. It will also enable students and faculty members to conduct applied research focused on the economic development of the UAE, they added.

"Our collaboration with the University of Dubai will provide researchers, faculty and students in the UAE with a platform for innovation, resources and technology expertise to help ensure that today's graduates have the knowledge and workforce skills to contribute to building a Smarter City," said Amr Refaat, general manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan.

"IBM collaborates with educational institutions around the world to drive innovation through research and skills development to support the development of the technical and business talent that fuels economic growth."

As an added part of the agreement, the University of Dubai will become an IBM academic partner using the IBM Academic Initiative framework, IBM said.

The news comes just weeks after an agreement was signed between the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Spain's Universidad Politecnica de Madrid (UPM). That deal will see the two parties create a post-graduate course focusing on smart city concepts.