Innovation: Celebrating It for a Week, Fostering It Year Round
As the United Arab Emirates marks UAE Innovation Week, it’s worth noting that the country ranked in the top 10 globally in two innovation criteria that are part of the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2015-2016.
This includes second place globally in government procurement of advanced technology products and seventh in the world in the availability of scientists and engineers. Overall the UAE ranked in the top 20 in competitiveness.
Given these rankings, UAE is hosting UAE Innovation Week, near the end of 2015, which the country had dedicated the “Year of Innovation” — which is part of the county’s Vision 2021 to be among the most innovative nations in the world.
For GE, which sees innovation as central to its heritage and a key enabler for its customers, supporting the UAE’s homegrown innovation is just part of its commitment to the country and the region. It works year round to contribute to UAE and other regional government efforts to build an innovation-enabling environment by promoting innovation champions and providing opportunities and environments for local innovation to emerge.
As part of its Innovation Week initiatives, GE is signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the UAE Ministry of Economy to support innovation within federal government departments and across the country. GE also brought its innovative GE Garages experience to the Dubai Design District (d3) and also participating in the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s Innovation Week by highlighting its Industrial Internet solutions that support a sustainable, productive and efficient energy sector.
Rania Rostom, Chief Innovation Officer for GE in the Middle East, North Africa & Turkey, said, “As we at GE transform into a digital-industrial company through the Industrial Internet solutions that integrate software, big data and heavy machinery, we are inspired by the UAE, which is focused on building a culture of innovation to address local challenges and opportunities.”
As part of the MoU GE will organize leadership speaker sessions at the GE Ecomagination Innovation Center in Masdar City for government employees nominated by the Ministry of Economy. The speaker series will address FastWorks, GE’s new initiative to promote the ‘start-up’ culture, which emphasizes the disciplines of lean manufacturing and agile software development.
GE will also organize a 3D Printing Workshop for government employees, centered on GE Garages that conveys the potential of Advanced Manufacturing.
During UAE Innovation Week, GE showcased the possibilities of innovation through a dedicated pavilion at d3, where visitors have the opportunity to experience an innovation journey through the ‘Develop & Discover’ zone, which provides real-world examples on how GE uses innovative technology and processes in its manufacturing and development.
Also at the pavilion, GE will be screening its exclusive, recently released Breakthrough series, a partnership with National Geographic that explores remarkable scientific discoveries.
GE will also provide visitors the opportunity to track and analyze how their brain waves change when eating spicy, savory and sweet flavors through our brain wave monitoring headbands.
At the DEWA Innovation Week, GE is showcasing its advanced digital-industrial solutions at its booth, highlighting innovations related to the Industrial Internet, water, energy, efficiency and latest technology.
Long-term innovation initiatives in the UAE include a four-week robot-building program for girls aged 9-11 that teaches coding and Advanced Manufacturing.
The company has also partnered with entrepreneurship incubator Wamda for a mentorship program during which 10 MENA-based startups were paired with 20 GE employees to learn from each other.
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.