Talking about the UoS as a scientific and research landmark and its role in supporting and encouraging innovation, Dr. El Mahdi said the UoS has 14 colleges, 6 branches, 70 academic programmes, 21 higher studies and 4 research institutes, and some 15,000 male and female students are studying in its various colleges.
Projects are generally divided into applied projects for manufacturing or developing a device or machine and innovative projects for making a new device, machine, system or approach, he said.
El Mahdi pointed out that the UAE looks at innovation as a national strategy and hence came the innovation month, which incorporates a number of activities and events all over the UAE where samples of innovative competition and programmes are displayed.
Innovation begins with an idea and a plan is then made to carry the idea into effect and identify the requirements to do so, El Mahdi said, noting that the plan is subsequently designed and put into practice. The innovative design is then evaluated in terms of its pros and cons and feasibility before the innovation is documented and registered, he added, stressing the importance of registering the innovation locally, regionally and internationally.
Later, El Mahdi talked about innovative programmes and projects including among others the “Think Science, which gives a university student an opportunity to display his innovative idea, and the “Innovative Student” of Sharjah Award for Excellence and Excellence in Education, which is supervised and organized by Sharjah Education Council.
Apart from the pleasure of exploration, innovation has many benefits for a university student including its effect on increasing self-confidence, gaining unique planning and communication skills, getting acquainted with experts and grabbing an opportunity to take part in award and honouring ceremonies, he said.