Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed launched the National Experts Programme during a tour of a memorial dedicated to Sheikh Zayed on Tuesday.
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces paid a visit to The Founder's Memorial, a landmark site in the capital paying homage to his late father and the country's first ruler, and his efforts to unite the nation.
Sheikh Mohamed viewed the rich array of exhibits on show at the sprawling venue before announcing the programme, which will "attract talented individuals and hone their skills to help sustain [the UAE's] development across all vital sectors".
Twenty Emiratis will be mentored to help them become experts in a range of fields - in order for them to play a vital role in the future prosperity of the country.
Sheikh Mohamed said that it is essential that the country invests in its most valuable resource, its own citizens, to drive forward the nation for generations to come.
"I am reminded of when the late Sheikh Zayed decided to build the breakwater in Abu Dhabi," said Sheikh Mohamed in an address to members of the programme.
"His solution was to rely on our nationals who later became captains of industry. We are blessed with the advancement we are witnessing and we are blessed to have young people like you, our sons and daughters, who will secure a sustainable future for our nation."
The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi called on young people to build on the huge "strides" made by the UAE in recent years.
“Your country has made tremendous strides forward and the mantle of responsibility falls to you, the educated and intellectual generation," Sheikh Mohamed said.
"It is on you to benefit from the experience of those who built and elevated our nation and to harness the knowledge and science you have learned from the world’s best institutions to drive us to a better outcome”.
The program will graduate 20 national specialists across 20 vital sectors in line with national priorities to achieve a knowledge-based economy.
Mentors chosen to help shape young minds include Khaldoon Al Mubarak, CEO of Mubadala, Saif Ghobash, the undersecretary of Abu Dhabi's Department of Culture and Tourism, and Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment.
Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said the enterprising initiative will help to create a talent pool of experts.
“This program, which has gathered a lot of support, takes into consideration all facets of the participants’ professional and personal growth to enable all of them to be role models, specialists forming a talent pool and a data-driven think tank of future expertise we can rely on," he said.
"These specialists will then eventually play a key advisory role in the national development program, bringing to the table sector-specific expertise and a deep understanding of the UAE’s aims and needs.
"This first batch of graduates will form the cornerstone of an expert network that will grow in coming years. As the program continues to develop, our goal is to graduate 5 classes by 2022 to reach 100 future experts invested in impacting their sectors”.
The initiative has been set up to help mould the next generation of decision-makers.
Outstanding Emiratis from various sectors will be picked for a six-month training programme to develop their competencies.
The launch comes during a busy week of announcements for the UAE, with the Dubai Ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, announcing plans to create a Dubai that looks 50 years into the future.
As well as his Fifty-Year Charter, a development blueprint that will touch the lives of everyone living in the emirate, he laid out a road map for the future success of the emirate in an eight-point plan.