The UAE: Inspiring Everyday Innovation during UAE’s “Year of Innovation”
Innovation is very much an intangible element. So for companies and countries looking to foster it, one challenge is making it tangible and thus achievable.
For GE, whose cultural ethos and heritage is founded on innovation, making the concept real every day is simply how the company operates. Across the region, GE helps spark innovation in many ways, for example: open innovation challenges targeting local issues, localized research facilities, regional innovation centers, region-specific white papers, and locally held GE Garages workshops.
As the United Arab Emirates continues to drive a culture of innovation across the country during this Year of Innovation, GE and the UAE Ministry of Economy have signed a 12-month cooperation agreement in the area of innovation that will support the UAE government in embedding innovation into its organizational culture. The agreement was signed on November 23rd, during to commemorate UAE Innovation Week.
Elements of the cooperation include a GE-led leadership speaker series, a hands-on Advanced Manufacturing GE Garages workshop, and potential site visits to GE research facilities in the UAE and abroad.
To be held at the GE Ecomagination Innovation Center in Masdar City, the speaker series will be led by GE and external experts, and was developed for UAE government employees.
Topics will include FastWorks, which is GE’s initiative to promote a ‘start-up’ culture and the innovative, nimble and quick-iterating characteristics that this represents. The speaker series also will include discussions on entrepreneurship and innovation, and the role of education in innovation.
Another topic will be the Industrial Internet, which enables efficiency and productivity leaps through a merging of large industrial assets, big data and advanced analytics.
All speaker sessions are designed to merge innovative thinking into everyday work to achieve significant leaps in productivity and efficiency.
Using the globally popular GE Garages platform, GE also will host a 3D Printing Workshop focused on Advanced Manufacturing concepts that promote localized prototyping.
In addition, GE will host the same group on local site visits to GE facilities in the UAE to provide a hands-on understanding of the Industrial internet and innovation, as practiced by GE. These visits could include the GE Middle East Aviation Technology Center, GE’s Monitoring & Diagnostic Center for the Middle East and Africa, and the GE Water & Process Technologies Center of Excellence. The agreement also envisions a possible site visit to one of GE’s Global Research Centers.
The UAE’s Year of Innovation is a strategic priority for the country, whose leaders have always had a focus on the future. At the time the UAE launched the Year of Innovation, H.H. Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, said, “We live today in a world witnessing rapid changes and continuous developments, full of opportunities, discoveries and inventions. We must prepare and equip our generations in a manner that they fit in the world in which we live, ensure their position among nations, and make a prosperous future for us similar to our present.”
GE has been a longtime partner to UAE governments and private sector companies, helping address tough challenges in the fields of oil and gas, healthcare, power and aviation by applying hard work, advanced technology and innovation, to each project.