Abu Dhabi-UAE: 24 October 2021 – The UAE Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology hosted a “Sci-Tech Virtual Tour” to highlight the UAE’s science and technology ecosystem and the incentives, advantages, and opportunities for global investors, innovators, and business leaders, especially in the medical technology field.
The first of a series of virtual tours to showcase investment opportunities in the country, the two-day event was organized in cooperation with the UAE Embassy in the Republic of South Korea. It welcomed an audience of researchers, start-ups, SMEs, and representatives of major companies in the science, technology, and healthcare sectors in the UAE and South Korea. In addition to offering information on the UAE’s investment ecosystem, the virtual tour provided a platform for stakeholders to network, engage, and ultimately exchange ideas, expertise, and know-how.
The sessions and discussions were aligned with the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology’s national industrial strategy, Operation 300bn, the 10-year strategy that aims to empower and expand the industrial sector in order to strengthen its contribution to the national GDP to AED 300 billion by 2031.
His Excellency Omar Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Public and Cultural Diplomacy, opened the virtual event with the presence of HE Abdulla Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea and a number of stakeholders from both countries. HE Ghobash offered an overview of the opportunities available within the UAE’s healthcare sector.
The tour comprised several sessions held over two mornings, designed to underline the UAE’s appeal as an investment destination and showcase the strides the nation has made in the fields of science and technology, specifically in healthcare and medical technology.
The first day included a number of panel discussions. The first session focused on the objectives of the national strategy for industry and advanced technology – Operation 300Bn – and the competitive advantages of the UAE economy and the financing and enabling role of the Emirates Development Bank. The second session provided an overview of the investment environment in the country, while the remaining sessions discussed the business environment of the UAE’s science and technology sector. The final session was devoted to discussing the future of technology use in the health sector.
On the second day, the opening session addressed the importance of the academic sector in the growth of the science and technology environment in the two countries, as well as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the progress of research and development efforts. The first session of the day focused on the role of investment and international partnerships within Operation 300Bn. The second session involved a review of the UAE’s research and development sector. The third session comprised a panel discussion between stakeholders from both countries working in the field of healthcare and technology. The fourth and final session focused on the role of academia in developing the industry.
Tariq Al Hashmi, Head of Technology Development and Adoption at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology, confirmed the event would represent a vital first step in deepening the relationship between the UAE and South Korea in this important field.
“What we are trying to create in this virtual tour is a bridge between our science and technology communities in the UAE and South Korea. We understand that South Korea has great capacity and great capabilities in science and technology, and we are really excited to learn more about the ecosystem in South Korea.”
He added: “Med-tech is very important to us in the UAE, and we are trying to harness medical technologies for the wellbeing of our people, as well as create commercial opportunities in this vital sector. The UAE and Korea have cooperated on many successful projects in nuclear science and space technology, and we are confident we can expand this collaboration in the medical technology field.”
HE Omar Ghobash said: “The development of a world-class healthcare system is of critical importance to the Emirates and is one of the key pillars of our national agenda. The sector has rapidly expanded to meet the needs of a growing population and the country’s ambition to become a regional medial tourism hub. As part of the growth and increased sophistication of our healthcare sector, the UAE continues to seek out, identify, develop, and implement new, best-in-class medical technology solutions. These include telemedicine, digitization of medical records, connected medical devices, data privacy protection, laboratory technology, the internet of medical things, 3D printing, and more. This bodes well for the expansion of the med-tech sector.”
He added: “The Republic of Korea is a leading knowledge economy, pursuing cutting-edge tech research and the development of advanced 4IR technologies – and it is our hope the virtual tour will enable new partnerships and exchanges and empower learning and the development of the sci-tech sectors in both our countries.”
During his remarks, HE Abdulla Al Nuaimi, UAE Ambassador to the Republic of South Korea, underlined the rapidly developing industrial ecosystem of the UAE, which he believed provides many opportunities for Korean investors, business owners, and stakeholders.
“The country’s industrial sector is guided by an ambitious, comprehensive strategy that was launched in March 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. It focuses on future industries that implement advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution applications. Named Operation 300bn, the strategy aims to advance and expand the industrial sector to be the driving force of the sustainable national economy in the UAE by 2031.”
He added: “The Republic of Korea is one of the leading countries in science and technology and has made major achievements in advancing the Fourth Industrial Revolution. With regards to bilateral cooperation in science and technology, the sector has been high on the agenda during visits exchanged by the leaders of the two countries over the past few years. During those visits, the two sides concluded a number of agreements for cooperation in various fields, including science and technology.”
The presentations and discussions during the UAE’s Sci-Tech Virtual Tour included an overview of the UAE’s Operation 300bn industrial and advanced technology strategy from Abdulla Al Mahri, Director of Investment and Stakeholder Engagement at the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology; an examination of the UAE Investment Ecosystem from the Ministry of Economy’s Dr. Hassan Al Sayegh, Director of SME Development, and Hind Al Youha, Director of the Investment and Talent Attraction Department; the science and technology ecosystem in the Emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai, and Sharjah; the UAE’S research and development ecosystem; and the role of academia in industry.
A group of major national companies participated in the discussions on the role of advanced technology in healthcare. It included G42 Healthcare, a subsidiary of the UAE G42 Group, which specializes in artificial intelligence and cloud computing; Mubadala Healthcare, the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment; and ADIO.