ADSIC visits Google HQ to discuss co-operation
Abu Dhabi govt delegation visits Google's Mountain View base to discuss new technologies, collaboration
A delegation of Abu Dhabi Government decision makers has visited Google's HQ in the US, to build ties between the two organisations and to gain insight into Google's latest technologies.
The visit was organised by the Abu Dhabi Systems and Information Center (ADSIC) as part of the Government's framework to expand ties and cooperation with the multinational tech companies working in the fields of government innovation, knowledge transfer, human capital, education and ICT capacity-building.
The delegation, led by Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Health Authority, met with a number of senior executives and innovation leaders at Google's global hub in the U.S., including Mike Cassidy, VP, GoogleX, Jacquelline Fuller, Director of Google.org, and Wael Fakharany ,Regional Business Lead - Middle East and Africa (MEA) - GoogleX. The representatives provided an insightful overview into some of Google's chief initiatives and activities internationally, and the visiting delegation's agenda focused on three public policy areas; social, economic development, and government innovation.
Dr. Al Khaili said: "This productive visit comes in line with our efforts to work towards further strengthening Abu Dhabi's ability to become a hub for knowledge creation based on a firm base of highly qualified human capital, as we continually seek to open new horizons of cooperation with key leading corporations, opening new opportunities for knowledge, science and skills that are essential in the 21st century. In addition, we had aimed to create bridges of cooperation with Google to achieve effective levels of coordination on a number of fronts to keep up with the continual global changes of the ICT sector.
"Through our strategic partnership with Google, our objective is to pave the way for new platforms that advance all aspects of technology in Abu Dhabi, including internet networks, e-knowledge spaces, modern communication devices and their programming, advanced teaching methodologies, in addition to low-cost luxury devices that are eco-friendly, low-risk and agile," he added.
Rashed Lahej Al Mansoori, General Director at ADSIC, commented: "As the government entity entrusted to advance Abu Dhabi's e-Government across all areas of operations, we continually seek to form efficient and long term partnerships with leading members of the global private sector, and our recent visit to Google headquarters in the US was undoubtedly a key step towards achieving our objectives, in line with our wise leadership's desire to explore a wide array of technological knowledge transfer and industry capacity-building avenues, one of which is the growing ICT sector, which has witnessed notable advances and strategic developments in recent years."
Al Mansoori went on to say that the delegation's series of in-depth meetings paved the way for additional development that would assist in bridging the advantages of a mature and world-class ICT sector with social and economic benefits, opening new horizons for further developing the sector in the emirate by aligning with Abu Dhabi's social-economic and government plans.
The two-day agenda included a meeting with Sam Blatteis, Google's Head of both Government Relations & Public Policy and Google Global ICT Infrastructure, who provided the delegation with an introduction on planning and building a new network from scratch, and how Google wants to work closely with city leaders to map out and understand all possible local needs and challenges, such as reviewing infrastructure - roads and underground utility paths to ensure that cities are ready to design and build a brand new network. Blatteis also accompanied the delegation on a comprehensive tour of Google Mountain View HQ.
Emily Ma, Head of Special Projects, Business Innovation at GoogleX, provided the delegation with interesting insights into some of the company's top innovations, including ‘the self-driving car project', a prototype vehicle that can take motorists where they want to go at the push of a button with no driving required, using sensors and software to look at 360 degrees around them and sense objects like pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, and more. In addition, visitors were shown a demonstration of ‘Project Wing', a self-flying vehicle that could open up entirely new approaches to delivering goods and services in a cheaper, faster, less wasteful, and more environmentally sensitive way.
Day two of the visit included meetings with Google Education Global Senior Director Bram Bout, a renowned high-tech executive with vast international experience in sales, strategy, business development and product marketing, who gave an overview on Google for education as products, training and resources. Other key meetings included interactive sessions with senior Google Developers and Directors who discussed topics ranging from code to web development, tech entrepreneurship to product development and cloud computing and the integration of new technologies and skills into various fields of work to create impactful business advantages.