The American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE) has revealed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT), the leading research and technology company in the Nordic countries, to jointly pursue opportunities in academics, research and development (R&D), entrepreneurship, and innovation. The move falls in line with the directives of His Highness (H.H.) Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and Member of the Supreme Council of the UAE, and President of the American University of Sharjah, to further foster the concepts of innovation and entrepreneurship as supporting foundations for driving growth in the emirate.
Under the terms of the agreement, VTT will work with the AUSE-supervised Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation (RTI) Park to identify possible entrepreneurships, technical consultancy and various research projects. AUSE and the Sharjah RTI Park teams will facilitate soft landing services, connections to relevant partners, and meetings and introductions to local government and business leaders of value to VTT, to support areas of cooperation between both parties. The partnership will benefit the development of Sharjah RTI Park, an extension of the University City that will facilitate activities related to applied education and demand-driven research.
In addition, AUSE and VTT will study the establishment of two Centres of Excellence – one on Industrial Biotechnology and the other on Nano Fibres. The Centre for Industrial Biotechnology will focus on the R&D and applications of enzymes for industrial applications, which will increase the competitiveness of this sector and support the innovation in it. The Centre for Nano Fibre, on the other hand, will work on the development of advanced innovative materials for application in various industries, including packaging, construction and security, which will support the local industries with the latest technologies and help the commercial sectors in the production of modern technologies.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO, AUSE, said: “VTT is a valuable addition to our growing roster of global partners that can provide us with significant expertise and advise on how to best develop the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park as well as maximize opportunities on other educational, entrepreneurial and innovation-driven fronts. Our MOU with an internationally renowned research and technology entity affirms our commitment to fostering a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial and technical excellence in the Research environment among learners and across the emirate, in line with the vision of H.H. Sheikh Dr. Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah”
As part of the initial steps to be undertaken, AUSE and VTT recently hosted a joint seminar on ‘Building Technology Collaboration on Piloting and Joint Research. The agenda for the session included ‘The role of applied research in the support of Industrial Innovation and R&D in Finland, in addition to a presentation on ‘the role of Finland in support of research in industrial biotechnology’ ‘Building Industrial Collaboration on New Packaging Materials Research,’ in addition also to share relevant research about ‘Cleantech and Industrial Biotechnology Research Between Companies and Research Organization.’
Dr. Jussi Manninen, Executive Vice President of VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, commented: “Our research and innovation services provide our private and public partners all over the world with a competitive edge in their respective core fields and activities. In partnership with American University of Sharjah Enterprises, we look forward to paving the way for a brighter future through the development of new smart technologies, profitable solutions, and innovative services. We are particularly excited to help our new partner harness the potential of the upcoming Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park which we expect to emerge as a prominent regional research and innovation hub.”
The MoU with VTT is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships forged by AUSE to reinforce its business and innovation capabilities. The investment arm of the American University of Sharjah recently signed an agreement with Oulu University of Applied Sciences Ltd., one of the largest universities of applied sciences in Finland, to collaborate on the development of a world-class innovation ecosystem for the Emirate of Sharjah.
About the American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE):
Founded in 2015, by amiri decree of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, the American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE) is the enterprise arm of the American University of Sharjah (AUS). Its mandate is to support the financial future of the American University of Sharjah by leveraging world-class research and knowledge-intensive business activities to pursue and develop commercial opportunities. AUSE is overseeing the development of Sharjah’s Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) Park, which will connect with local and international players in engaging in practice-oriented education and demand-driven research activities. AUSE is a member of the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP).