21 November 2018
Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah, and President of the University of Sharjah, the University's College of Business Administration and in collaboration with Sharjah Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SCCI) organized the 4th International Forum on Innovation & Entrepreneurship. The Forum inaugural ceremony took place at the Sharjah Center for Astronomy and Space Sciences at the University. It aims this year to foster students' competencies to become leaders of the future by using education methods that encourage research, advancement, innovation, and competitive spirits, while ensuring the establishment of innovation as a way of life.
Her Excellency Khawla Al Mulla, Chairperson of the Sharjah Consultative Council (SCC), attended the Forum along with His Excellency Prof. Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah; H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Amin, Assistant Director- General for Communication and Business sector at the SCCI; Prof. Maamar Bettayeb, Vice Chancellor for Research and Graduate Studies at the University; Dr. Salah Taher, Vice Chancellor for Community Affairs at the University; Prof. Philip Molyneux, Dean of the College of Business Administration at the University; and Dr. Amel Ibrahim Al-Ali, Chairperson of the Forum's Organizing Committee.
During her address on the occasion, H.E. Khawla Al Mulla stated that the language of this age is innovation, especially when applied and utilized; this Forum, she added, embodies this notion. During the inaugural ceremony, she also announced the launch of the SCC's initiative "Innovative Solutions to Social Issues," which coincides with the Council's strategic goals in a plan that aims to foster cooperation between government entities, development of community relations, and implementing communication tools that contribute to finding solutions to society's challenges.
The Chancellor of the University welcomed the attendees and stressed that innovation is one of the main focuses of the University in keeping with the vision of His Highness the President of the University. H.H. established the University of Sharjah, he continued, to be a national development project that produce researchers, scientists, and leaders who contribute in their part to serving and advancing society. This is a main focus of the University's current strategic planning for the upcoming five years. This strategic plan aims to develop educational programs that keep up with changed in the job market.
During his word, H.E. Mohammed Ahmed Amin launched the third "Sharjah Chamber Award for Innovators," stating it is a witness to the SCCI's commitment to playing its role in encouraging innovative thinking in universities and academic institutions students in the Emirate of Sharjah, and translating their ideas into successful investment projects. This is in accordance with His Highness' vision and the directives of H.H. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Crown Prince and Deputy Ruler of Sharjah, of encouraging youth to be innovative as they are the main ingredient in achieving the developmental goals of society. He added that the SCCI is proud of the participating innovative projects and added that the SCCI award in its third round offers the four top winners 50 thousand dirhams as a prize.
As for Prof. Philip Molyneux, he stated that the Forum this year is different in that it opens its doors to a larger number of participants from various universities in the UAE as well as high school students in Sharjah. The evaluation procedure for the contest, he continued, has changed as each participant will contribute with an idea that will be developed through workshops with a number of expert specialists in this field in order to qualify them for the final stage of the contest. Winners will be selected during the closing ceremony of the Innovation Month in February 2019.
As for Dr. Amal Al-Ali, she stressed that for the past three years, the Organizing Committee has works endlessly on nurturing the culture of innovation in students as a way of life to enter the workforce and be familiar with the best international practices that rely on innovation and entrepreneurship. She stated that in organizing this Forum, the were keen on providing students with all necessities to ensure knowledge gaining during their innovation journeys; this is through enlisting international speakers, academics, and professionals in the area of innovation as well as organizing workshops, seminars, and discussions with experts on innovation and entrepreneurship.