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04 May 2015

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government Organizes Third Knowledge and Policy Council Session

Mohammed Bin Rashid School of Government (MBRSG) organized today the third session of the Knowledge and Policy Council titled ‘Research in UAE - Present Challenges and Future Opportunities’. 
Chaired by His Excellency Dr. Ali Sebaa Al Marri, Executive President of MBRSG, the session converged representatives from various government entities, universities and local research institutions to examine ways to boost scientific and social research programs in the UAE that can eventually contribute to the developmental process of the country. In addition to reviewing the challenges and opportunities for establishing such study centers, the participants discussed mechanisms for achieving integration between national policies and research institutions, and presented recommendations on ways to turn research outcomes into tangible results. 
His Excellency Dr. Ali Sebaa al Marri said: “The UAE Vision 2021 has identified innovation, research, science and technology as the main pillars to achieve a competitive and knowledge-based economy. However, despite the huge strides made by the country, there is a big gap in research capabilities and one of the main reasons for this is lack of funding. 
 “According to the UNESCO Report on Social Science, there isn’t a single Arab country that spends even 1% of GDP on research. In comparison, the US spends 2.77% of its GDP on research, while Japan spends 3.26% and Finland spends almost 4%. These figures demonstrate the need for immediate government intervention in form of federal policies and funding to stimulate research and innovation and give the much needed impetus to this sector.”
The session drew the participation of Aisha Miran, Assistant Secretary General, Strategy Management and Governance Sector at The Executive Council of Dubai; Dr. Mohammed Yousuf Baniyas, Academic Advisor, Ministry of Higher Education, Dr. Riadh Al Mohaideb, Vice President of Zayed University, Dr. Abdulla K. Al Hammadi, VP – Strategy & Performance, DEWA and Laila Fraidoon, Executive Director, RTA Chairman Office. 
During the event, the council explored financing options that can guarantee sustainable monetary support to help create a conducive environment for research and innovation. Participants agreed on the importance of coordination and collaboration among local research centers and also stressed the need to develop criteria or a grading system that can endorse the credibility of such centers to turn them into trusted organizations locally, regionally and globally.   
The Knowledge and Policy Council provides insights and recommendations into areas that impact government performance, while enhancing personal and institutional communication to facilitate intra-governmental relations. The Council is also mandated to highlight priority issues and public policy matters that are relevant to the community and the government.
The outcomes of the session will soon be compiled in a research paper and published.
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