First Arab Innovation Centre

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed witnesses launch of GEMS Education initiative

08 February 2015

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, witnessed the launch of the region’s first Arab Innovation Center for Education initiative by GEMS Education, which took place at the commencement of the Government Summit, being held February 9-11 in Dubai.

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed examined the details of the initiative, which will be a unique platform to showcase global best practices and innovation, while serving as an incubator for emerging business projects for UAE nationals interested in the education sector.

Announced in November last year, is Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, designated 2015 as the Year of Innovation, in a plan to make the UAE a world innovative leader, in turn inspiring research, attracting national skills and develop future leaders in the UAE.

The Arab Innovation Center is a nourishing environment where young UAE Nationals and GEMS students who are interested in the education sector can hone their entrepreneurial skills, and gain real-life knowledge and mentoring to make their ideas a reality.

“The launch of the Arab Innovation Center marks a milestone in GEMS’ historic journey in the UAE, allowing us to cement our place as the leading educational institutions in the UAE, while allowing us to contribute to the development and nurturing of the UAE’s entrepreneurial spirit that has given rise to some of the region’s brightest young minds and innovators,” said Saeed Al Muntafiq as group chief executive officer, GEMS Education.

“In line with the UAE Vision 2021, our role is to help develop one of the world’s strongest education systems, built on the efforts of best-in-class educators, as well as effective and efficient school leadership, all the while keeping the national spirit of the UAE alive throughout the education curricula.”

The Arab Innovation Center will provide a research hub to leverage global best practice in innovation and education, in addition to acting as an entrepreneurship incubator for UAE Nationals interested in the education sector. Lastly, the AIC will offer a test-bed for new models in education, offering teacher training for UAE Nationals and virtual schools for the Arab world.

“More than 30 per cent of GCC youth have ambitions to open their own business, becoming decision makers and agents of change, while generating economic growth for the region, as well as diversifying the regional economy,” explained Al Muntafiq.

“We are looking to act as an enabler with the launch of the AIC, allowing young nationals to overcome educational challenges by providing resources to learn and innovate, empowering them to hone their entrepreneurial talent and deliver economically tangible results.”

The Arab Innovation Center relies on four pillars to clarify the direction of innovation goals and efforts. The ‘Innovation Space and Academy’ pillar is a multifunctional space to inspire, energise and innovate, while creating a community of thought leaders and the public for collaborative learning and knowledge transfer. The ‘Innovation Research’ pillar leverages global best practices to research and experiment beyond conventional methods. The ‘Innovation Testing and Prototyping’ pillar promotes constant refinement with all research ideas to be vetted for commercial and social viability and scalability. Finally, the ‘Innovation Incubation’ pillar expedites start-up ideation and progress through a combination of financial support, guidance and training to tackle educational challenges, promote innovation and entrepreneurship and generate potential strategic interest ideas.