Earlier this year, Hub71 partnered with two leading academic institutions, one of which is The United Arab Emirates University’s Science and Innovation Park (UAEU-SIP) with the aim to upskill tech talent in Abu Dhabi and attract new science and technological capabilities to its growing tech community.
Through Hub71’s academic partnership with UAEU-SIP, the institution benefits from the tech ecosystem’s network of partners and expert mentors to support students and alumni in addition to their startups receiving priority access to the Hub71 Incentive Program. The mutually beneficial partnership also includes innovation workshops, joint programs, events, hackathons and access to Hub71’s vibrant WeWork x Hub71 co-working space. Through the partnership, students also gain graduate recruitment and internship opportunities at startups in Hub71’s vibrant community, stimulating job creation and deepening Abu Dhabi’s talent pool.
To learn more about UAEU-SIP and its collaboration with Hub71, we talked to Dr. Nihel Chabrak, Chief Executive Officer of UAEU-SIP.
How is UAEU’s Science and Innovation Park contributing to Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation?
The UAEU’s Science and Innovation Park stimulates a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, contributing as a major ecosystem player to coordinate efforts to transform Abu Dhabi into a global hub for entrepreneurship and innovation.
UAEU-SIP brings together an enriching community of technology-based startups by promoting and enabling next generation solutions, offering a plethora of learning opportunities to create a pipeline of talent, that in turn will support job creation and will ultimately drive Abu Dhabi’s digital transformation.
Why have you formed a partnership with Hub71?
Our recent partnership with Hub71 is aligned with one of our strategic goals in building partnerships and ecosystem conditions to support safe innovation, venture creation and growth.
UAEU-SIP aims to develop the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem through partnerships and collaborative initiatives. It was established to become a global hub for research, innovation, and entrepreneurship, and through our remarkable partnership with Hub71, UAEU-SIP aims to extend its tenants’ opportunities offered by Hub71, in gaining access to a dynamic, fast-growing community and a global network of partners to engage with and scale globally.
In your opinion, how can tech startups work with academic institutions to help advance new science and technological capabilities in Abu Dhabi?
Tech startups work in parallel with educational intuitions. In my opinion, we should focus on establishing research-oriented startups. This is where academic institutions come in. Research and development (R&D) form an integral part of any startup, and universities are ideal to offer resources and expertise, being the beacon of knowledge absorption and creation.
What advice would you give to students who are considering pursuing entrepreneurial ventures?
I would say always follow your dreams and passion. Work hard and utilize the resources available to achieve your goals, and bring that knowledge and value back to support the UAE’s future.
What are your top priorities for 2021?
2021 is a promising year for UAEU-SIP. UAEU is the UAE’s flagship university and the only university to have its own pavilion at Expo 2020 under its theme of ‘connecting minds, creating the future’. We will bring UAEU to the world, showcasing our innovation and disruptive curriculum, “The Curriculum of the Future”, which will ultimately support job creation in the region.
Additionally, our main priorities are to provide tenants with a unique value proposition and opportunities to engage in interactive innovation that unlocks sustainable competitive advantages. We are also looking at tapping into international partnerships to provide startups with unique high value services, intellectual resources, market access, and technical support. We build enhanced and effective programs for tenants to help them thrive from an idea generation stage to a growth established business stage. We will also focus on offering programs that upskill students and support transforming Al Ain, into a learning hub and knowledge-based economy.