Research and Development

Research and Development

One of Abu Dhabi Economic Vision primacies is the ability to respond and adapt to the pace of technological change and harness all research and development capabilities to achieve future competitiveness. In order to achieve this mission, ADEK works with all stakeholders involved from government agencies to academia and relevant industrial sectors to:

  • Build high quality and sustainable system for research and development in Abu Dhabi.
  • Grow human-capital capacity and further develop the knowledge base in research areas of strategic importance.
  • Assist researchers and universities in aligning their research with the strategically targeted sectors.
  • Help source research funding and opportunities for collaboration, and attract pioneering industrial Research & Development institutes to Abu Dhabi.

Competitive Research Funding for 2020

Over AED 40 million in competitive funding has been awarded to 54 successful research and development proposals across seven key sectors: Life Sciences (Health, Food and Agriculture), Aerospace, Education and Social Sciences, Information and Communications Technology (ICT), Material Sciences & Manufacturing, Energy and Environment.

The 54 successful grants were selected from over 320 proposals across two award programs, The Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence (AARE) and The Abu Dhabi Young Investigator Award (AYIA). The number of grants given were 12 in Life Sciences, 7 in Aerospace, 10 in Education and Social Sciences, 7 in ICT, 4 in Material Sciences & Manufacturing, 6 in Energy and 8 in Environment. This high number reflects the ongoing drive by ADEK to collaborate with research communities to accelerate the growth of the Abu Dhabi research and development ecosystem and position the Emirate of Abu Dhabi as an innovation hub.

The winning submissions include a proposal by Rafael Song at NYUAD to design an artificial brain component on a chip, which will allow researchers to study autism spectrum disorders and enable research clinicians to develop treatments for this syndrome. Basam Ali of UAEU won a grant to develop novel protein therapies for chronic diseases that are endemic in UAE populations. Muath Al Hasan of Al Ain University won a grant to develop novel space communications solutions that will aid the aerospace sector. Syed Aftab of Abu Dhabi Polytechnic, winner of the Young Investigator award, will work on developing a smart aircraft system modeled on the humpback whale for increased maneuverability and efficiency in unmanned aviation applications such as remote sensing, search and rescue and disaster relief. Faisal Al Marzooqi of Khalifa University won a grant to develop a novel photothermal mechanism to remove toxic and undesirable heavy metal waste from water which often ends up in the brine byproduct of desalination. For more information, please click here.