Sarah Al Amiri: The R&D Governance Policy is a building block for strengthening the national ecosystem that contributes to the UAE’s economic development
Her Excellency Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, the UAE’s Minister of State for Advanced Technology, stated that the UAE Cabinet’s approval of the Research & Development Governance Policy on 13 September 2021, and the establishment of the Emirates Research and Development Council headed by His Highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, will contribute to strengthening the performance and effectiveness of the UAE’s science and technology sector. The Council signals the first step towards a robust R&D ecosystem, built on scientific and research talent and capabilities, unifying its efforts to achieve national priorities.
An integrated ecosystem
Her Excellency stated that the Research and Development Governance policy includes two main pillars. Beginning with establishing a framework for the governance of research and development as the first pillar, the policy is designed to strengthen the ecosystem by clarifying the roles and responsibilities of parties at all levels of governance, which are 1) Policy and Priority Setting, 2) Coordination and Fund Allocation, and 3) Execution, in line with globally leading practices. The second pillar, in effect, is the activation of the first level of the framework, through the establishment of Emirates Research and Development Council, as the national body representing the highest level of this governance.
Al Amiri added that being the first suite of specific policies geared towards governing research and development, the UAE aims to foster an agile, yet robust, national ecosystem for research and development, that unifies its directions, aligns its efforts, and integrates all that into a knowledge-based economy. Such an ecosystem attracts and retains highly specialized expertise and top talents, in a way that enhances the nation’s position as a global hub for science, technology, and innovation. It simultaneously draws investments into more advanced projects, and channels resources towards national challenges. Therefore, the governance will establish mechanisms to ensure that operational plans are implemented and followed through to achieve these priorities.
Standardization and Alignment
The governance framework highlights the importance of centralization of governance to align on policies and priorities on highest level of the framework. Therefor, the Emirates research and development council was established as centralized body to govern research and development, ensure inclusiveness in terms of sectoral representation and create a strategic link between the government sector, the private sector and the higher education sector.
In addition, the policy will support the activation of the National Guide to Measure R&D in Government aiming to standardize data and facilitate the process of collecting, analyzing and measuring performance to determine their socio-economic impact.
Al Amiri noted that the policy will continue on the great efforts made by the UAE to strengthen the R&D ecosystem, especially in the higher education sector, by building on these investments, and leveraging them towards solving priority national and shared global challenges. Similarly, the UAE’s National Strategy for Industry and Advanced Technology (Operation 300Bn) aims to boost the competitiveness of the industrial sector, elevate its productivity, and create new opportunities, via science, technology and innovation. Evidently, this requires amplifying the contributions of the R&D ecosystem, and intensifying its activities, to achieve the desired outcomes in the UAE’s economic growth.
September 19, 2021