Under the patronage of His Excellency, Eng. Hussain Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education and Vice Chairman of the Khalifa University Board of Trustees, more than 40 students from across schools in the UAE participated in the fourth Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp organized by the Emirates ICT Innovation Center (EBTIC) and Khalifa University of Science and Technology, in collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Education.
The bootcamp that opened on 31 March, successfully concluded with an awards ceremony. It was attended by industry, academia and government stakeholders as well as technology leaders with an excellent track record in initiating and leading business start-ups.
The student team that presented the most innovative and pragmatic business concept was declared winners. In all, a total of six teams participated in the fiercely contested challenge in which the students showcased and presented their projects to a panel of judges. The judges’ panel comprised academics and senior business professionals, selected from industry, academia, government and the media.
His Excellency Al Hammadi said: “The fourth EBTIC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp is one of the pioneering initiatives that supports the UAE’s progress, through inspiring innovation, a key focus area in the country’s future strategy. The Ministry of Education always aims to achieve an innovative school community, in order to build a scientifically-tuned future generation. This bootcamp provides the right environment to students and guides them towards developing new capabilities and expanding knowledge, especially through research and investigation that help transform ideas into projects, benefiting the community.
“Initiatives such as this bootcamp are fertile grounds for encouraging creativity, helping students to expand their knowledge, especially through practical lectures and workshops in innovation, business development, marketing, entrepreneurship, intellectual property. The bootcamp also emphasizes strengthening the student’s connection with each new and enhancing aspect of planning, study and research in important developmental sectors,” he remarked.
His Excellency Al Hammadi added: “The participants, chosen through the National Festival of Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) held in February 2019, are already distinguished in knowledge and research. We expect them to have a scientifically and professionally promising future. And we believe the bootcamp will help build well-informed future leaders suitable for the UAE’s sustainable knowledge economy.”
Eng. Saleh Abdullah Al Abdooli, Group Chief Executive Officer, Etisalat, said: “Etisalat has always believed in laying the foundation for the future, nurturing creativity and fostering the growth of tomorrow’s innovators, future scientists and engineers. Innovation and digital transformation are key to our success and a result of our vision at the next level of development that has led the company to play a greater role in the digital lives of consumers and enterprises.
“This collaboration with EBTIC is in line with our strategy ‘Driving the digital future to empower societies’ that will pave the way for smarter solutions and applications, mentor the next generation of young UAE innovators and entrepreneurs and contribute towards an innovative knowledge- based economy. Etisalat is constantly looking to tap into the possibilities of the booming startup ecosystem. We are looking for avenues to support entrepreneurial growth by creating partnerships that will provide them the platform to grow and showcase their abilities. We are able to work together with these young innovators and entrepreneurs to imagine, design and co-create the future. This has led to Etisalat actively contributing to UAE’s national innovation strategy where digital technology is also one of the top seven primary national sectors.
“The association with EBTIC’s fourth ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp’ will give a platform to the youth to develop STEM skills enabling them to translate their fresh and innovative ideas into solutions that will contribute to the development of the society and economy.”
Eyad Shihabi, Vice-President, Middle East, Africa, and Turkey, BT, said: “The innovation and entrepreneurship bootcamp is designed to bridge the gap between the worlds of education and business, as well as inspire and mentor the next generation of innovators. Over the past few days, some of the brightest young minds in the UAE presented their creative inventions and business propositions, and the talent on display was inspiring. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Khalifa University and the UAE Ministry of Education through EBTIC, to create a learning platform wherein students can develop skills for life.”
Dr. Nawaf Al Moosa, Acting Director of EBTIC and Assistant Professor at Khalifa University said: “The fourth EBTIC Innovation and Entrepreneurship Bootcamp proved even more successful than the previous years with enthusiastic participation by students who developed some of the most innovative business concepts. The student teams’ presentation skills, honed by the team mentors, were remarkable. We thank all the stakeholders and partners for their support to this bootcamp and we hope to continue our efforts towards building and nurturing young talent.”