Abu Dhabi launches grant programme to promote research and innovation in healthcare

Funding will support clinical research projects that have the potential to fight rare diseases, cancer, Alzheimer's and other ailments

The Department of Health has teamed up with the emirate's healthcare sector, government and non-government entities in the UAE to offer a grant that will support clinical research. AFP
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Abu Dhabi has launched a new programme of funding aimed at supporting research and innovation to fight life-threatening diseases.

The emirate's Department of Health said the grant will be offered to those who carry out clinical research projects in the areas of cardio-metabolic and vascular disorders, cancer, Alzheimer's disease, rare diseases, emerging infectious disease and antimicrobial resistance.

It is also open to people who have innovative technological ideas and solutions focusing on smart hospitals and the prevention and management of chronic diseases, a news release said.

The winners will also receive guidance to ensure project continuity and sustainability.

Applicants can submit their entries on www.doh.gov.ae but they should partner with a healthcare facility in Abu Dhabi to finalise and submit their entries.

Applications will be accepted during the next six weeks but the grant amount has not been revealed.

A committee of experts from the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi (DoH) and Abu Dhabi Health Research & Technology Committee will evaluate and assess submissions. It will be headed by Dr Asma Al Mannaei, executive director of the research and innovation centre at the DoH.

"As part of the DoH’s efforts to [support] the capital’s position as a leading destination for life sciences and innovation, we are committed to enabling and empowering innovators and researchers within our community to take their passion projects to the next stage," she said.

"With Abu Dhabi providing the right environment for individuals and companies to thrive, we are thrilled to put forward this grant that will expand clinical research capabilities in the emirate as well as conceptualise unique projects in the capital.

“We look forward to receiving and reading through all entries as well as providing guidance to all applicants. This is an exciting milestone for the healthcare sector that will spread a fine share of healthy competition among science and technology fanatics.”

To offer the grant, DoH has partnered with the emirate's healthcare sector, government and non-government entities in the UAE.

Abu Dhabi aims to become a destination of choice for clinical trials and collaborative healthcare research.

The emirate has ambitions to capture the world's first population-wide genetic library, pioneer connected health and build on previous collaborations with pharmaceutical giants Pfizer and AstraZeneca in medical research.

Last year, G42 Healthcare launched Insights Research Organisation and Solutions, a first-of-its-kind contract research organisation in the UAE to support internationally leading standards of scientific and ethical research, conduct clinical trials and report and develop treatments.

The company was started following the success of the country’s Phase III clinical trials for the development and testing of a Covid-19 vaccine, where 130 nationalities participated.

In March, the capital partnered with Pfizer to train and support 150 Abu Dhabi scientists to conduct clinical research at the level required by multinational companies to produce effective medicines.

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Updated: September 30, 2022, 2:19 PM