Dubai: His Excellency, Zaki Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to His Highness the President of the UAE and Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) addressed a ceremony to celebrate the winning proposals submitted under the first joint research program between UAEU and Zayed University (ZU). The ceremony was attended by Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and the President of Zayed University, and the Executive Leadership, senior administration, and faculty and researchers from both universities.
The Chancellor explained the rationale for the joint research program by saying, “Our two institutions were created to foster the infrastructure of knowledge and capability that provides essential foundation for our nation’s stability and progress. We are responsible for providing qualified and skilled individuals to form future generations of professionals, entrepreneurs, and creative innovators. We are entrusted with the resources that researchers and research institutes need to push forward the frontiers of what is known, to provide solutions for current economic and social challenges, and to advise us on future possibilities”.
The Chancellor said that the Joint Research Program recognises that the two Federal institutions share a joint responsibility to meet these national needs and aspirations. He explained that the Program is significant because “We know that our sum is greater than our parts, and therefore our collaboration will bring greater rewards”. He emphasised that collaboration is also important because, “The heart of human progress lies in dialogue, cooperation, and exchange of interests and ideas. The human ability to join forces is essential if we are to care for our mutual needs and to profit from each other’s talents. Therefore the Joint UAEU-ZU Research Program acknowledges our commitment to these principles and secures the vigour of our fraternal and intellectual bonds”.
The UAEU-ZU Joint Research Program supports research and development projects in areas of national priority: health sciences, space science and astronomy, water, energy, food and environmental sciences, big data and artificial intelligence, and social and economic sciences. The total budget for each winning research proposal is shared equally between UAEU and ZU up to a total of 400,000 AED for laboratory-based projects and 250,000 AED for others. Winners are identified after external evaluation of each proposal submitted by respected peers in the relevant academic fields. The evaluation examines the quality of the proposal in terms of their academic significance, novelty, and alignment to institutional strategies. The Program will run every year, with the administration alternating between UAEU and ZU.
A total of fifty-eight proposals were submitted under a competitive process of evaluation. The Chancellor explained the rationale for the criteria for evaluation. “They assure us of the value of the research outcomes in terms of their potential to advance knowledge and understanding, and their utility and application. They ensure that our two institutions continue to serve the national emphasis on innovation and creativity that is essential to the sustainable development of UAE society and economy. Moreover, they reinforce the alignment between our institutional missions and areas of national priority”.
The Chancellor expressed his appreciation for the efforts of all involved in the Program, saying, “I thank the fifty-eight teams who submitted proposals for their interest in this great competitive endeavour. The spirit and energy of your participation provides a momentum that we all benefit from. I also express my tremendous gratitude to the individuals from UAEU and Zayed University who provided the leadership, organisation, and administration that made the Joint Research Program possible”.
In conclusion he said, “I look forward to hearing about the progress and development of each project and wish you the very best of success. I have every confidence that the value of your joint outputs will be greater than our investments. Together UAEU and ZU serve the ten principles set by our nation for the coming fifty years. We serve the economy and unity of the country. We provide intellectual tools and develop human resources. We foster collaboration and openness. And we are committed to serving human and ecological priorities both nationally and globally”.
On her part, Her Excellency Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth and President of Zayed University assured that this cooperation will unite the efforts of two prestigious academic institutions to continue progress towards elevating the academic and research standard and efficiency that we offer to the young leaders of tomorrow, and to the whole world. “We prioritize tasks of preparing more proficient and capable generations to participate in pushing the barriers of progress and development during the next phase. This is one of our most important national duties, as we are overseeing a new era – represented by the Projects of the next 50 years – that aims to empower our youth for new changes, and the challenges it may bring, to further develop our nation,” she said.