Abu Dhabi's new Advanced Technology Research Council approves seven R&D priorities

New centres will be set up to explore autonomous robotics, cryptography, advanced materials, quantum computing, digital security, directed energy and secure systems

Almost 40 per cent of UAE executives ranked AI number one - more than twice the number of any other technology. AFP
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Abu Dhabi’s new Advanced Technology Research Council approved seven research and development priorities for the emirate in its first board meeting on Tuesday, according to the Abu Dhabi Media Office.

The seven priorities set out by the council are: autonomous robotics, advanced materials, cryptography, digital security, directed energy, quantum computing and secure systems. Research in each area will be undertaken at dedicated centres. Additional areas of research will be proposed by the end of the year.

The main objectives of ATRC are to establish Abu Dhabi as a world-leading research hub and a desired location for advanced technology talent from around the world.

The council is also working to develop global partnerships with industry and educational institutes to achieve global breakthroughs.

Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the ATRC board, led the first meeting and gave directions to create a “comprehensive framework” for the emirate’s research activities by “aligning investments in scientific inquiry”, according to state news agency WAM.

He reiterated the importance of the council's role in fostering public-private partnerships with start-ups, SMEs and larger corporations as well as world-renowned universities and research instutions.

He also urged the research centres to create ambitious project and implement talent development programmes for graduates and young professionals in advanced technology.

"By investing in knowledge development, which enables our people and organisations to discover and innovate, Abu Dhabi is now at the forefront of scientific enquiry – from agritech solutions, to pioneering stem cell treatments, we are committed to solving tomorrow’s global challenges today," Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed said.

"The Advanced Technology Research Council is a strategic incubator for this thriving sector, driving further growth, evaluating and supporting emerging fields of research and technology, nurturing talent, and fast-tracking breakthroughs, reinforcing Abu Dhabi’s position as a global centre for R&D," he added.

In May, UAE President Sheikh Khalifa announced the creation of the ATRC to strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a global research and development hub. It operates as an independent authority to accelerate a culture of innovation and discovery.

The council is focused on a wave of new breakthrough technology and will ensure that funds are channelled efficiently, so that technologies developed have a clear route to market, said ATRC's director-general, Faisal Al Bannai.

"Ultimately, we want to foster a culture of curiosity and exploration, and inspire the next generation of exceptional talent in science and advanced technology," he added.