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U.A.E. tops MENA in innovation index

posted on 22/07/2014: 658 views



The U.A.E. has been ranked first among the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) countries in terms of performance in the 2014 Global Innovation Index, according to a report published by Cornell University, Insead and the World Intellectual Property Organisation.

The Global Innovation Index 2014 launch conference, which was hosted by du also revealed that out of 143 countries, Switzerland remains at the top position globally for innovation, and the U.A.E. is in 36th place. The event was attended by Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs.

Commenting on the new ranking, Al Gergawi said, " Arab world in general and the U.A.E. in particular historically constitute a hub for innovation," noting that the U.A.E. has been founded on the principles of innovation, creativity and knowledge". He cited the launch of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of the U.A.E. Space Agency, being the first Arab and Islamic project with the aim to send an unmanned probe to Mars by 2021.

He said that U.A.E. leadership has from the beginning invested in nurturing human capital that is capable of achieving such ambitions, adding that the U.A.E. is also characterised by its high ability to build an environment that encourages creativity and innovation, and attracts talent. "It also has plans to transform the government into a smart government, and to transform our cities into innovative, human-friendly smart cities." For his part, Osman Sultan, CEO, du, commented, "With a visionary leadership and continued investments in education, fostering avenues of growth and development, it is not surprising that the U.A.E. leads region in key innovation parameters. The continued progression of the U.A.E. in the GII rankings is proof positive of national efforts to bolster innovation-driven sustainable growth." He noted that there are three areas in which the country has demonstrated significant growth: Human Capital and Research, Infrastructure, and Country Institutions, which are the key pillars to fostering a connected society. Investing in these areas will empower business acumen and facilitate a knowledge-based economy, powered by connectivity." Sultan added that it is not surprising that the U.A.E. leads the region in key innovation parameters, the continued progression of the U.A.E. in the GII rankings is proof positive of national efforts to bolster innovation-driven sustainable growth. There are three areas in which the country has demonstrated significant growth: human capital and research, infrastructure, and country institutions, which are the key pillars to fostering a connected society. Speaking at the launch, about why the U.A.E. is at these positions, Professor Bruno Lanvin, executive director, INSEAD Competitiveness Index said, "The nature of innovation has to be rooted in each country not from anywhere else. All the things which this part of the world is famous for such as mathematics, algebra and astronomy need to be revived as these things don't just go away on a whim. The fact that infrastructure is so well developed here shows that this part of the world has a number of things to share in innovation however the internet is still a place where less than 2 per cent of content is in Arabic, this should not be the case. We need more Arabic text, Arabic books and Arabic poetry on the internet." GII 2014 surveys 143 economies around the world, using 81 indicators to gauge both their innovation capabilities and measurable results. Published annually since 2007, the GII is now a leading benchmarking tool for business executives, policymakers and others seek insight into the state of innovation around the world. Switzerland, the UK and Sweden topped this year's index, while Sub-Saharan Africa posted significant regional improvement in the annual rankings. The U.A.E. was ranked 36th globally this year compared to 38 last year. Speaking at the launch, about why the U.A.E. is at these positions, Professor Bruno Lanvin, executive director, INSEAD Competitiveness Index said: "The nature of innovation has to be rooted in each country not from anywhere else. All the things which this part of the world is famous for such as mathematics, algebra and astronomy need to be revived as these things don't just go away on a whim. The fact that infrastructure is so well developed here shows that this part of the world has a number of things to share in innovation however the internet is still a place where less than 2 per cent of content is in Arabic, this should not be the case. We need more Arabic text, Arabic books and Arabic poetry on the internet." – Emirates News Agency, WAM – Read more: http://www.wam.ae/en/news/economics/1395267990566.html

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