Masdar Institute calls for focus on RandD-innovation ecosystem to spur sustainable economic growth

ABU DHABI, 26th February, 2015 (WAM) — Although research, development and innovation are related, they are distinctly different. Investing in research and development generates knowledge and new technology, whereas promoting innovation generates business activity and spurs economic growth.

This is why the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology places a major emphasis on contributing to developing the UAE’s innovation ecosystem.

“In order to achieve sustainable economic growth from innovation, an optimally developed ecosystem is required to integrate innovation and RD. This can come only through the combined efforts of various stakeholders, including businesscommercial entities, state-owned enterprises, large foreign companies, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs),” said Dr Steve Griffiths, Executive Director, Office of Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute, during the Defense Innovation Technology Conference (DITEC) 2015.

Highlighting the relevance of Masdar Institute’s research agenda, Dr Griffiths remarked that the key to successful collaboration between universities and industrial partners is to engage in research collaborations that achieve tangible outcomes while at the same time promoting human capital development and knowledge creation. At Masdar Institute this is accomplished through a focus on “use-inspired” research, which is research that aims to achieve the practical outcomes sought by industry while also seeking to achieve the fundamental understanding that faculty and students can provide through deeper exploration of research topics.

Dr Griffiths said Masdar Institute’s current partnerships in the aerospace and defense sector include collaborations with Boeing, Mubadala Aerospace, Tawazun, Lockheed Martin, and other leading corporate entities. Through these collaborations, Masdar Institute continues to drive innovation in the strategic areas as directed by the UAE and Abu Dhabi economic development strategies, he added.

He added that graduate universities such as the Masdar Institute play a key role in innovation through development of trained human capital and low-to-mid technology-readiness level RD to generate knowledge, solutions and intellectual property.

The remarks from Dr Griffiths came while he was participating in an industry -academia RD panel discussion titled ‘How industry and academia can collaborate to optimise industry resources and utilise existing academic capabilities in order to catalyse aanced research and technology output.’ Themed ‘Aancing Defense Inventors Technology, ‘From Ideas to Application,’ DITEC 2015 was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee and sponsored by Takamul with the strategic partnership of the UAE’s Ministry of Defense. The event was held along the International Defense Exhibition and Conference (IDEX) 2015 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).