Dubiotech brings together industry and business leaders to drive innovation within the life sciences sector

Dubai, 5th February, 2015 (WAM) — DuBiotech, the free zone business park dedicated to fostering the growth of the region’s life sciences industry, brought together over 150 industry and business leaders to share insights into recent developments in the sector, as well the identification of potential barriers. How to drive the UAE’s Innovation Strategy was also discussed.

Dr Abdalla Alnajjar, Emirati entrepreneur and President of the Arab Science and Technology Foundation (ASTF), said: “Innovation creates change and aancement for an industry. It disrupts the status quo, but it does not automatically translate to entrepreneurship or new business. Entrepreneurship is vital to capitalise on innovation and give life to the idea.

“As UAE businesses move towards an innovation-led economy, the combination of these two elements will be crucial in creating new businesses or business initiatives, encouraging new ideas, and driving economic growth.” In order to capture the changing landscape of innovation in the life sciences industry, DuBiotech polled the forum attendees with several innovation themed questions. The resulting data revealed that 67 per cent of respondents consider their employer or business to be innovative, whilst 77 per cent confirm their company has a system in place to capture new ideas. Nearly half of the attendees (48 per cent)onsider entrepreneurs to be the key driver for and the source of innovation in Dubai.

The survey also identified the potential barriers to the growth of innovation in Dubai 27 per cent of respondents believe lack of funding for innovation-based research to be the most crucial barrier to the realisation of Dubai’s innovation goals, while 23 per cent see current market dynamics as hostile to the environment required for fostering innovation. Intellectual property and patent protection regulations in the region were also highlighted as being areas of concern.

Commenting on the results of the poll, Marwan Abdulaziz, Executive Director, TECOM Investments’ DuBiotech and EnPark said:”The UAE is the most innovative nation in the GCC, but our goals are much higher than this. We are currently ranked 24th for innovation according to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Competitiveness Index, and have set ourselves the target of becoming one of the most innovative nations in the world through the National Innovation Strategy. The strategy requires all government agencies to invest into research and projects driving innovation.

At DuBiotech , we aim to create an innovative environment for our business partners, with purpose build commercial offices, research and lab facilities, high-level networking opportunities, and strong connections to Government and academia. Surveys like this are an excellent indicator of public perception, and can assist in refining the UAE’s approach, and educate us on positive developments and potential barriers to the UAE achieving its goals.

After looking into these snapshot results, we at DuBiotech have decided to invest in further, more comprehensive research into innovation in the life sciences industry, to assist the UAE in becoming one of the world’s most innovative nations.” DuBiotech and TECOM Investments continue to support the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to transform Dubai into an innovation-driven economy. In October 2014, TECOM Investments’ introduced a strategy focused on new innovation initiatives, stimulating creativity and the development of new technologies, creating smart and sustainable infrastructure, and driving entrepreneurship and SME growth, with a combined total investment AED 4.5 billion