His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, yesterday inaugurated the second edition of Knowledge Summit 2015, under the theme ‘The Way to Innovation.' The opening ceremony of the three-day summit, organised by the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation (MBRF), was held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Dubai.
The event was attended by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation.
Knowledge Summit 2015, the leading platform to discuss the most innovative solutions in the transfer, dissemination and localisation of knowledge in Arab communities, began three days of interactive sessions and activities. The Summit runs from 7th to 9th December.
Commenting on the launch of the Summit, Jamal bin Huwaireb, Managing Director of MBRF, said, "This year the Knowledge Summit is being organised under the theme, 'The Way to Innovation' in line with the directives of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark the year 2015 as the Year of Innovation. The event is a unique opportunity that brings together influencers, experts and stakeholders in the knowledge domain to discuss ways to employ innovation in the dissemination and transfer of knowledge in fields such as education, scientific research and information technology."
He added that the Knowledge Summit 2015 has emerged as one of the biggest international gatherings to promote knowledge on an annual basis, and represents the ideal global platform to discuss ways to strengthen the efforts to build knowledge-based sustainable societies and economies. The hosting of the Summit by MBRF reflects the Foundation's leading position in the field of knowledge development and its dissemination at the local and global level.
The Summit this year includes a range of interesting sessions addressed by top level international speakers, including ministers, knowledge influencers, scientists and innovators, enhancing Dubai's position in the field of knowledge in the global arena.
The most prominent speakers include Gordon Brown, former British Prime Minister; Steve Wozniak, American inventor and co-founder of Apple Inc; French astronaut Patrick Baudry; David Bennett, Chief Development Officer at National Geographic Society; Eng. Hussain Al Hammadi, UAE Minister of Education; Elias Bou Saab, Minister of Education and Higher Education, Lebanon; Dr. Ali Al Kaabi, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrolment at United Arab Emirates University; Prof. Eric Fouache, Vice Chancellor of Paris-Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi; Dr. Essam Heggy, Egyptian space scientist at NASA; and HRH Princess Ghida Talal, Chairperson of the Board of Trustees of King Hussein Cancer Foundation.
Education is one of the key pillars of the Summit this year, considering its importance in achieving development and progress in the community. Another key pillar is Information Technology, which has come to play a critical role in building the future of nations and the development of major projects. Discussions at the Summit will also focus on Scientific Research in view of its significance in the development of societies and human capacity development. Innovation in the field of media and the film industry will be another focal area.
In addition to the main session and panel discussions, the Knowledge Summit 2015 will witness the announcement of the winner of the Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award, which honours a person or institution at the international level for their contributions in the dissemination, transfer and localisation of knowledge. The award is aimed at encouraging initiatives and programmes to support the effective use of knowledge to achieve sustainable development and prosperity of peoples around the world.
The Knowledge Summit will also unveil the results of the Arab Knowledge Index, which monitors the status of knowledge in the Arab world, taking into account the specific situations in each country in the region. As an effective tool to measure knowledge, the Index offers decision makers, experts and researchers, accurate information and practical solutions to formulate development plans and policies.
In yet another major initiative, the Summit will witness the launch of a knowledge portal, which will serve as an electronic platform of reference for researchers, academics, decision makers and civil society institutions, offering vital data and research material on the topics related to knowledge and development.
In a speech broadcast via satellite, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, commended the initiatives of the UAE in the field of knowledge and reading, citing the directives of Sheikh Mohammad and his continuous encouragement to Emirati and Arab youth on the innovation and knowledge through his unlimited support to all the initiatives.
The event was also attended by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, Mohammed bin Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister for Cabinet Affairs and a number of officials.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid inspected a number of internationally-accredited innovations at the hotel's hall, where he was briefed about the device to detect toxic gases in the oil, a new pancreas device to follow up on the patient's condition accurately without the need for daily check-up and a special device to activate the reading service, and another device to reduce the proportion of irrigation water in plants and increase agricultural production in a modern and economical way.
He praised the scientific and technological talent of the Arab youth, noting that it will harness this potential to fulfil the welfare of people across the Arab world. Sheikh Mohammed welcomed the guests, calling for interactive co-operation between the private and public sectors at the regional and international levels.
At the end of the inaugural session, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed and Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed honoured the winners of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Knowledge Award. The award was given to National Geographic, Hiroshi Ishiguoro, a Japanese Roboticist, and Ahmad Shugairi, activist and media figure.