The by-invitation-only workshop revolved around the significance of the UN Technology Innovation Lab (UNTIL) initiative in forming strategic partnerships among governments, private sector, civil society, academia, and donors in the hope of bridging gap to solve two of the most pressing issues of today.
The UN-led program aims to unite all efforts and approaches to effectively address poverty and achieve sustainability. It seeks to discover, fund, and scale innovative solutions and business models according to the initiative’s core mission. In addition, UNTIL was launched to spur research and innovation in the UAE in line with His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi’s directive to apply innovations in tackling global humanitarian challenges.
Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said: “The event was an important step forward in activating international partnerships to create our future. In the region, Sharjah and the UAE are at the forefront of forming collaborative efforts designed to strengthen the path towards digital revolution, technological transformation, and economic openness. By hosting the workshop, the Park also fulfilled its mandate to attract leading international companies involved in technology, research, innovation, and knowledge to the emirate in line with the government’s socio-economic development plans.”
The key speakers at the workshop included Sheikh Dr. Abdul Aziz Al Nuaimi, the founder of Green Sheikh, who spoke about the renewable energy and how we can support the new green technology.
His Excellency Mohammed Al Sharaf, Assistant Foreign Minister for Economy and Trade Affairs, said how UAE supports the research initiatives and policies and Sharjah developing this park which will attract well-known companies (focusing on new innovations and technologies) to support UAE’s economy.
Dena Assaf, United Nations Resident Coordinator, and Maurizio Gazzola, Chief Global UNTIL Prorgramme, Office of ICT, UN, in their presentation spoke about the UN General Assembly in its resolution 68/220 recognizing the vital role of science, technology and innovation, including environmentally sound technologies, in facilitating efforts to address global challenges. Information and communication technologies have been acknowledged as cross-cutting enabler for sustainable development, economic growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability.
Several other participants and researchers including Careem, presented their companies focusing on investing in such new and innovative technology.
During the workshop, the participants tackled the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They focused on six major thematic areas, namely circular economy; food security; Industrial 4.0 – Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure; mobility and smart cities; quality education; and digital ethics. Further, they received feedback and guidance on major projects related to sustainable development goals for the region.