Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research receives delegation from European Union Commission

ABU DHABI, 18th February, 2015 (WAM) — Dr. Saeed Hamad Al Hassani, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research, received a delegation from the European Union to the United Arab Emirates at the Ministry’s headquarters in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday, February 17th. The visit came to explore opportunities for cooperation between the European Union and the UAE in the area of research and innovation.

Dr. Saeed Al Hassani welcomed the delegation, stressing the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to name 2015 as the Year of Innovation, saying that the UAE Government takes great interest in the development of strategic policies and sets plans necessary to stimulate and develop an innovation environment in the country. He also stressed the directives of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, to promote international cooperation in research and innovation.

Dr. Husam Al Ulama, Director of Scientific Research Department and Dr. Ahmed Al Alosi, Research Programme Manager, received the delegation comprised of Dr. Rudlof Strohmeier, Deputy Director for Research and Innovation at the Commission, Dr. Faouzi Bensarsa, Regional Aiser and Minister Plenipotentiary of the Union, Dr. Wolfgang Penzias, Trade Counselor at European Union Delegation, and Dr. Strohmeier made a brief introduction on the international cooperation programmes in the European Union, focusing on the “Horizon 2020” programme, and its main areas which include health, education, energy, mobility, food and water security, agriculture and environment. The programme is open to cooperation with all countries in the world on the basis of mutual and bilateral cooperation and co-financing by both sides.

Dr. Al Ulama presented a brief explanation on the priorities of scientific research in the UAE, which are concentrated in the areas of health, energy, environment, water and education, and on the most important programmes of the Scientific Research Department, from ongoing cooperation with a number of European universities, individually or through governmental collaboration and coordination with the Ministry.

Dr. Ahmed Alosi also provided a detailed explanation about the mechanisms of implementation of funding programmes to researchers of faculty members at government and private institutions of higher education accredited by the Ministry, and citizen graduate students to build and develop capacities in research and innovation.

At the end of the meeting, souvenirs were exchanged and discussions to identify prospects for future cooperation were stressed. Emirati relations with the Commission of the European Union are very strong, and the UAE is a strategic partner of the Union. It is the second largest trade partner of the UAE, where relations date back to 1988.