ArabBrains MENA Education Innovation Technology Investment Networking Events News Social Media Blogs Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:34:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Sharjah, the First City in the Middle East to Launch Smart Wi-Fi Bins Thu, 26 Nov 2015 06:34:09 +0000 .

United Arab Emirates-Sharjah, Bee’ah , the Middle East’s award-winning and leading integrated environmental and waste management company, is introducing innovative solar-powered bins across Sharjah that will act as hotspots, in line with the UAE’s Innovation Week, which seeks to promote and encourage the finest ideas on innovation from government and private sectors, as well as the public.

Designed and built by BigBelly, a leading provider of bin solutions in the US, the units are being rolled out starting in Sharjah, following an MOU with Bee’ah , where the company committed to several hundred Wi-Fi bins to be deployed across Sharjah and the UAE in prominent locations as soon as early 2016.

This will make Sharjah the first location in the Middle East to have smart bin technology with Wi-Fi hotspot in parallel with leading cities such as London and New York.

The innovative Smart bins will act as Wi-Fi hotspots and are double streamed for increased solar capacity. They also come equipped with sensors to detects when the bin is full, and communicates with the Bee’ah control room allowing “Tandeef”‘s team to make the necessary collection in an efficient and eco-friendly way.

The solar panels provide the energy required to operate the compactor, which allows the bins to collect five times more trash before needing to be emptied.

Commenting on the development, HE Salim Al Owais, Chairman of Bee’ah said: “The smart wi-fi bins being introduced by Bee’ah are a step forward in environmental innovation, optimally merging efficiency and utility. The fact that Sharjah will be the region’s first location to offer them is a testament to our Emirate’s growing status as an environmental capital of the Middle East. This technology is part of ainnovative suite of ground-breaking products and services we are in the process of rolling out, in line with innovative vision of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, to protect the environment and ensure a sustainable future.”

Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah added: “At Bee’ah , our top priority is innovation to augment the quality of life among communities in Sharjah and the UAE. How we manage waste is one of the most important challenges of our time. Smart solar-powered technology can change our lives”.

Bee’ah ‘s waste collection division, Tandeef – which plays a vital role in providing coherent and sustainable environmental solutions to meet the challenges of the community it serves – consists of 2000 employees operating a fleet of more than 500 vehicles. Its street cleaning and sweeping services and commercial waste collection, alongside facilities for pubic, residential, and office and school recycling, work closely together to provide a seamless integrated environmental solution, which has made Sharjah a model to emulate across the region.

The new solar bins complement Bee’ah ‘s recently launched Tandeef Smart Eco-fleet – a revolutionary expansion for vehicular green technology and state-of-the-art functions. Encompassing sustainable, low noise electric vehicles – a first in UAE waste management – and vehicles that use Compressed Natural Gas to reduce the negative impact of CO2 emissions, the fleet improves the environmental impact of its operations with lower emissions and better efficiency. As evidenced by such developments, Bee’ah is at the forefront of the region’s industry in ‘green’ innovation, and is constantly seeking avenues and technologies in its quest to ensure a cleaner and healthier environment in Sharjah.

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During Global Entrepreneurship Week 2015 Intel Fosters Innovation through ‘Cairo Innovates’ Thu, 26 Nov 2015 04:36:58 +0000 .

Cairo, Egypt: Intel continues to boost its share in innovation, science and technology by joining ‘Cairo Innovates’, a two day exhibition event aiming to activate interest and enthusiasm for science and innovation to increase Egypt’s productivity,that will be held under the organization of Academy of Scientific Research & Technology (ASRT) and Nahdet El-Mahrousa at Baron Palace in parallel with the Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Multiple Intel experts from the field of the Internet of Things and Data Security will be holding in-depth interactive presentations, in addition to Intel by being a Gold sponsor and showcasing a booth for Maker Activity along with an exhibition of 20 successful Intel Egypt ISEF Projects. A session on the Internet of Things will be given by Ahmed Allam, Enterprise Technology Specialist Intel Egypt, clarifying how our daily lives will be connected by the internet, everything we wear, and use or deal with will be all webbed to the internet. In addition to a security session that will be given by Yasser Ali, Sales Field Account Manager of Intel Security (formerly McAfee) about data security is essential in the era of cloud computing and internet of things.

Cairo Innovates is an annual international exhibition that aims to activate interest and enthusiasm for science and innovation, increasing Egypt’s productivity and global competitiveness and serves as a hub and platform for stakeholders from across various fields: innovators, scientists, mentors, accelerators, incubators, investors, and crowd funding platforms. The event will be held under the auspices of His Excellency the Prime Minister of Egypt Sherif Ismail and the Academy of Scientific Research and Technology.

Eng. Sameh Elmallah, Managing Director Intel Egypt & Levant, stated during his keynote: “Intel has been actively driving the regional technology revolution, which has played a role in the way people live, work, and learn and inspired the next generation of innovators with the help of our corporate initiative INARA,tackling innovation in webbing everything in our daily lives to internet; Internet of things technology and nevertheless ensuring its security from attacks by our Intel Security solutions”.

Through its INARA initiative, Intel aims to support the leaders of tomorrow by bridging the gap between students and the world around them through investing in three key pillars: Education, Science and Technology, and Entrepreneurship. Intel’s participation at Cairo Innovates is yet another example of how Intel collaborates with governments, educators, NGOs, and industry leaders to gradually transforming education, enhancing research initiatives, and subsequently enabling countries to boost their economy.

The Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of innovators and job creators who launch startups, bringing ideas to life and driving economic growth to expand human welfare. During this week, the GEW inspires people everywhere through local, national and global activities designed to help them explore their potential as self-starters and innovators. These activities, from large-scale competitions and events to intimate networking gatherings, connect participants to potential collaborators, mentors and even investors–introducing them to new possibilities and exciting opportunities.

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Dubai excels over Shanghai, Madrid and Istanbul in innovation Wed, 25 Nov 2015 10:22:32 +0000
  • Dubai Chamber building
  • Dubai Innovation Index results highlight the government’s leading role in supporting innovation
  • Dubai occupies 16th position among the world’s 28 leading innovation-driven cities while the city ranked 11th in the world for its efficiency in innovation outputs
  • The Dubai Innovation Index is the first-of-its-kind in the world focusing on emerging cities
  • Medical care, media, marketing, IT, retail and industrial sector are the most innovative sectors in Dubai
  • Buamim: The positive results show that Dubai’s business community will not back out from the process of innovation while the Chamber will focus more on raising the percentage of private sector contribution to innovation
  • The Chamber’s two main objectives behind its innovation strategy is to support and promote innovation in the private sector and to consolidate the Chamber ‘s reputation as one of the most innovative chambers of commerce in the world
  • PwC: Dubai’s vision and innovation strategy position it well to be a leading light in this global agenda
  • Dubai, UAE:Announcing the results of the Dubai Innovation Index done in cooperation with PwC,the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry revealed that Dubai occupies a higher rank than some of the world’s leading innovation-driven cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Istanbul, Moscow, Milan, Sao Paulo and Mumbai.

    According to the survey, Dubai ranked 16th out of the 28 peer global cities which are currently considered the most prominent players in the field of innovation and creativity registering an innovation rate of 39.14% while Dubai progressed to 11th place in the world for its efficiency in innovation outputs.

    The Innovation Index, which is one of the leading pillars of the recently-launched Dubai Chamber Innovation Strategy, has come as part of the UAE ‘Year of Innovation’ and the ongoing UAE Innovation Week led by the Government, which is investing in the future.

    This is also part of the awareness-raising initiatives and exceptional efforts to increase the percentage contribution of the private sector in the total innovation efforts of the city of Dubai, in addition to the need for greater investment possibilities which is the basis for a more innovative future.

    The Dubai Innovation Index which measures innovation within the 61 indicators shows Dubai’s superiority in the field of output and performance, particularly in the launch of new products and services and outputs of technology. However intellectual property and opportunities for collaboration with institutions and economies for scientific work have emerged as areas for improvement. .

    The index showed medical care, media, marketing, IT, retail industrial sectors as the most innovative while professional services, agriculture, fisheries, construction and energy sectors turned out to be the least innovative in Dubai.

    H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber , stated that the Innovation Index results clearly indicate the Dubai government’s efforts in spearheading the innovation trend in the emirate by laying down a strong foundation to support the process of innovation while building up a strong future for the concept, while showing the private sector’s focus on short-term goals instead of focusing on long-term strategies to promote innovation.

    He further stated that these results place Dubai in the leading position to prepare for the next phase of development while laying the foundation for a higher ranking in the sphere of innovation in the future.

    Commenting on the launch of the Index Anil Khurana Strategy & Innovation Partner at PwC Middle East said “PwC is proud to be part of the development of the Dubai Private Sector Innovation Index with Dubai Chamber . This is a unique and comprehensive index that evaluates and compares macroeconomic data to private sector views of a city. The macroeconomic index compares Dubai against the leading innovative cities in the world and highlights that Dubai has made significant progress and investments in recent years towards the post-oil knowledge economy. Dubai however, needs to further enhance its R&D and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) emphasis and investments to be even more competitive”.

    “This indicator is still new and shows us the way to compare our current position with the steps needed to prepare for the development of the innovation environment in Dubai and to stimulate the innovation culture in the business environment which will play an effective role in the coming period,” said H.E. Buamim.

    He further stated that the Chamber will focus more on raising the percentage of private sector contribution to innovation adding that the Chamber ‘s two main objectives behind its innovation strategy is to support and promote innovation in the private sector and to consolidate the Chamber ‘s reputation as one of the most innovative chambers of commerce in the world.

    Added Anil”Private sector businessmen views highlight that there is a great challenge to find and retain talent that facilitates innovation. The private sector also views creating and fostering an innovative culture in their organisations as a crucial step towards innovation.”

    The results of the index, which surveyed about 1,000 companies, showed that 63% of the participating companies are companies that do not exceed the number of its staff of 100 employees, while 75% of the participation in the survey companies do not exceed the size of AED 100 million, 14% of respondents range in size between 100 million and one billion dirhams.

    The results of this Dubai Innovation Index survey which covered 1,000 companies revealed that more than 63% of the participating companies do not have more than 100 employees, while 75% of the participating companies do not exceed the size of AED 100 million, and 14% of respondents range in size between 100 million and one billion dirhams.

    Companies from real estate and construction sector topped the survey list with 12%followed by travel and hospitality 11%and energy and professional services companies are equally divided by 10%, while the participation rate of food and beverage and hospitality and leisure and entertainment sector companies amounted to 9%.

    The Dubai Chamber innovation strategy is to stimulate innovation in the private sector which is based on three main pillars including enablers of innovation, measuring innovation and honouring innovators as the growth and development of innovation requires the contribution of all segments of society.

    The Chamber plans to invest AED 100 million during the next three years in innovative projects and initiatives such as the Dubai Innovation Index and the Dubai Chamber Innovation Lab as well as smart applications that enhance customer experience while strengthening Dubai’s position as one of the best global business destinations. This investment is part of Dubai Chamber ‘s strategy to invest AED 500 million over the next three years to serve the business community and to enhance its global competitiveness.

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    Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre announces 10 innovative space technologies and satellite applications during UAE Innovation Week Wed, 25 Nov 2015 06:34:25 +0000 space centreInnovations included KhalifaSat, Nayif-1, SAFIY and “Semi-Supervised classification tool for DubaiSat-2 multispectral images”.

    Al Shaibani: “New achievements demonstrate MBRSC’s keenness to adopt innovative strategies and methodologies that serve UAE and society”.

    Dubai, United Arab Emirates: The Mohammed bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) announced 10 new innovative space technologies and satellite applications, distributed among KhalifaSat, Nayif-1, SAFIY and “Semi-Supervised classification tool for DubaiSat-2 multispectral images”. Most of the innovative technologies were designed to meet the needs and requirements of their users, inside and outside the UAE.

    The announcement took place during the UAE Innovation Week, one of the most important events in the UAE for the year 2015, aiming to bring about a qualitative shift to the culture of innovation in all sectors and institutions. The UAE Innovation Week is in line with the directives of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE, to mark 2015 as the “Year of Innovation” and also builds on the “National Innovation Strategy” which was launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
    Among the ten innovations presented, KhalifaSat project highlighted 7 new innovations: a digital camera with an enhanced light meter for better image resolution, developing techniques to increase image download and communication speed with the satellite anywhere in the world, as well as satellite positioning techniques that allow capturing a higher number of 3D images.

    The team also worked on developing the target positioning system which makes the satellite one of the best satellites in the world that provide high-quality images with high-speed response and an accurate location system. KhalifaSat innovations also includes the development of automatic satellite control system through upgrading the primary satellite computer’s operating system and increasing its storage capacity.
    The innovations are a result of an extensive study of users’ needs of government institutions and private sectors, which were translated into practical ideas that were then applied to the satellite in order to meet the users’ requirements and keep pace with their aspirations. More than 45 Emirati engineers, who work at the Center, took part in the development of these innovations in KhalifaSat, the first satellite to be developed purely by Emirati nationals and expertise at MBRSC’s Space Technologies Laboratories.

    Moreover, Saeed Al Mansoori, Acting Head of the Applications Development and Analysis Center at MBRSC has developed an image processing application for space images captured by DubaiSat-2 called the “Semi-Supervised classification tool for DubaiSat-2 multispectral images”. Although there are several commercial applications with similar features, the innovative technique of this tool lies in its parameters that are designed to be commensurate with DubaiSat-2 images. This increases its accuracy and makes it easier to use, providing precise figures on the categories entered by users.

    This tool aims at giving decision-makers in the United Arab Emirates accurate analytical results of urban developments in the country, whether buildings on land or removed facilities, as well as highlighting the changes taking place in both the vegetative and aquatic covers. It constitutes a qualitative leap in terms of the development of technical software used in the image processing sector and space analysis in the country, as it will serve a large segment of public and private service institutions, such as municipalities, the Roads and Transport Authority, and the Ministry of Environment and Water, and will also be useful in studies and research carried out by universities and educational institutions in the UAE. The application was programmed based on recommendations and expertise of MBRSC’s engineering team

    Nayif-1, on the other hand, will have an active control system that hadn’t been launched before to space aboard of 1U CubeSat (10×10×10cm). This control system is designed to accurately locate the satellite in space and preserve its stability during operation. Nayif-1 is scheduled for launch on board a Falcon 9 rocket in the first half of 2016. UAE engineering students based in a ground station at the American University of Sharjah ( AUS ) will be in charge of managing the satellite operation after its launch.

    Nayif-1 is the first UAE nano-satellite to be developed by seven Emirati students from AUS under the leadership and supervision of MBRSC. The Nayif-1 project is designed to train students on space systems and technology, by encouraging and developing their skills in space system design, integration, testing and operation.

    Among the most innovative technologies displayed by MBRSC is the SAFIY Project, a system designed to automatically capture the most prominent landmarks from the DubaiSat-2 images, in addition to providing three-dimensional information. This smart system is designed to capture road networks, buildings, as well as green and water landscapes. The groundbreaking feature of this device is that the images of landmarks are captured automatically without user intervention, not to mention the automatic update direct to government agency databases.

    H.E. Yousuf Al Shaibani, Director General, MBRSC said: “The UAE Innovation Week is seen as a pioneering and ambitious platform to spread the culture of innovation and creativity in the UAE in various sectors, including the space sector, and is seen as a promising sector for the national economy.”

    “At MBRSC, we are very much aware and recognize the paramount importance of innovation in space and its vital role in achieving comprehensive development. Our engineers spare no effort to set forth innovative ideas and new applications and technologies to reflect the UAE Vision 2021 and in line with the “National Innovation Strategy”, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, aiming for the UAE to be one of the most innovative countries in the world over the next seven years,” he added.

    Al Shaibani also said “The new achievements are further proof of MBRSC’s keenness to adopt innovation as an approach and business strategy, serving the UAE and society at large. We rely on our national skills and capacities in innovation and development of space applications and projects according to the highest international standards, to meet the needs of the local and international partners in space.”

    “UAE has succeeded in building and developing highly efficient national cadres, as our workforce is not only limited to the engineers at the Center, but also encompasses university and college students who have now become able to develop satellites themselves,” he added.

    “We confirm our quest and contribution to supporting the country in achieving comprehensive and sustainable growth based on innovation, knowledge and creativity, as this will promote and enhance the UAE competitiveness globally and in all domains, namely space science and technology. What has been achieved to date is only the first steps of MBRSC’s strategy and plans. We promise further innovative projects, activities and programs in the future, in adherence to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of MBRSC and General Supervisor of all the Centre’s projects, strategic and development plans. ” Al Shaibani concluded.

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    Local SMEs Hold Little Appeal for 94% of Young Women Jobseekers in the GCC Wed, 25 Nov 2015 04:10:42 +0000 baytThe expectations and reality faced by young women job seekers in the Middle East and North Africa are addressed in new white paper by , YouGov and Education For Employment (EFE)

    Despite the decades of regional advancements that have led to the improvement of gender equality in education, according to the OECD less than one in three women in MENA today are in the labor force. A white paper entitled ‘First Jobs for Young Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Expectations and Reality’ released by , the Middle East’s leading job site, in collaboration with global market research agency, YouGov, and the leading youth employment network in the Middle East and North Africa, Education For Employment (EFE), addresses the key concerns and the realities faced by young women wishing to enter the job market in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA).

    The research into gender inclusion in the region sheds light on the current status of the employment of young women, as well as the perceptions and the realities that they face in today’s job market and workplace.

    Notably, much existing research on female unemployment in the region is generalized across all ages and does not specifically address young women, although they are coming of professional age amid a historic “young bulge” and rapid technological change. For example, when they consider entering the job market, how do young women look for employment? What expectations and assumptions shape the transition of young female job seekers as they attempt to enter the working world? How do these compare with the expectations and assumptions of young women who are already in the labor force, and to those – both female and male – who are in a position to hire them?

    As a first step in addressing these questions, , YouGov, and Education For Employment (EFE) administered a survey to young female job seekers, young women early in their careers, and professionals (both male and female) who make hiring decisions at their organizations. The resulting white paper presents valuable insights into the hiring practices of employers, as well as the expectations versus reality for young female job seekers and employees.

    Interesting findings emerged as a result of the ‘First Jobs for Young Women in the Middle East & North Africa: Expectations and Reality’ survey. These include:

    • In the GCC, 53% of young female job seekers expect it will be more difficult for women than men to find their first full-time job.
      In terms of challenges, only 4% of young women and 8% of employers in MENA indicated that they believe there are no challenges facing young women entering their field.
    • When compared to other regions in MENA, those in the GCC were most likely to face societal pressures when looking to secure a job, with young female job seekers in the GCC being most likely to select ‘lack of gender segregated environment’ (32%). They also cited’transportation/commute difficulties’ (68%) as important challenges when securing a job.
    • The role of personal connections or ‘wasta’ in securing a job was clear in the survey results. 32% of young employed women in MENA cited knowing someone within the company was a helpful factor in securing their first job, while 25% of women seeking jobs indicated that they believed knowing someone at the company would be the most effective method for them to secure their first full-time paid job.
    • The GCC tended to have lower proportions of female employees, with 66% of respondents indicating that their offices are made up of at most 25% women.
    • The public/government sector was the most popular choice for jobseekers in the GCC (38%), while small or medium local private companies hold little appeal to young women seeking employment in the GCC (6%). In reality, only 16% of women are actually working in the government sector, with the largest proportion (41%) working in local private companies.
    • The vast majority of young women and employers in MENA indicated that they personally support policies to drive the employment of young women, with more than 80% of young women and nearly 70% of employers indicating their support.
    • Top reasons that employers in MENA cited for the perceived positive impact of women’s employment on the bottom line were women’s attributes or skills, such as leadership and loyalty (18%) and enhanced productivity (11%).

    “There seems to be a disparity between the expectations and reality of young women joining the workforce, as well as a lack of either implementation or awareness of hiring policies to encourage the employment of young women in MENA. We are aware of the positive impact women have on the bottom line and are steadfast in our commitment to creating a knowledge sharing environment about the realities of work in the Middle East and North Africa region,” said Lama Ataya, Chief Marketing Officer, . “By offering valuable insights and real-life data to both employers and job seekers, we can be the change catalyst that empowers young women to gain sustainable employment and close the existing gender gap.”

    Joao Neves, Senior Research Director, YouGov, said: “This white paper highlights areas where immediate action is possible to enhance the employment outlook of young women across the region. YouGov will continue to look for opportunities to inform and educate the region about the issues that are relevant to reducing youth unemployment across MENA and the urgent need to address them.”

    “Over half of Education For Employment’s graduates are young women, and every day we see the profound impact that young employed women create at their companies and in their communities. Collaborating with and YouGov to generate knowledge around the obstacles to young women’s employment is a crucial part of our mission to empower youth in the Middle East and North Africa with the skills and opportunities that they need to build successful careers and bright futures for themselves, their families and their societies,” said Jasmine Nahhas di Florio, Vice President for Strategy & Partnerships, Education For Employment.

    This study utilized a quantitative online survey to collect the opinions and experiences of 2,319 individuals from the MENA region. The survey was administered to YouGov panel participants and respondents from both the and EFE databases from June 7-30, 2015. The samples of employed women (282), young women seeking employment (797), and individuals involved in hiring decisions (1,240) were representative of the MENA region, with the participation of residents from Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia, the UAE, and Yemen.

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    Government of Dubai Media Office Hosts Second Media Innovation Lab Workshop Tue, 24 Nov 2015 10:09:15 +0000 michael wuMichael Wu, Chief Scientist of Lithium Technologies, speaks about the importance of an influencer strategy for brands Government of Dubai Media Office.

    The Government of Dubai Media Office (GDMO) today hosted the second workshop in its Media Innovation Lab series.
    The workshop featured a presentation by Michael Wu, Chief Scientist of Lithium Technologies, on Social Media Return on Investment (ROI).

    Speaking to an audience of media and corporate communication professionals and students, Wu underlined the importance of an influencer strategy in promoting brands and products. Wu explained how one can gain a deeper understanding of the process of influence by using a simplified model of social media influence.

    GDMO’s Media Innovation Lab is a unique series of events focused on sharing knowledge on media innovations that are having a far-reaching impact on the industry and beyond. Featuring events every quarter, the initiative has the aim of inculcating a culture of innovation and creativity within the media industry.

    Speaking about how influencers can be found and engaged with, Wu said the influencer’s power to influence depends on six factors – credibility, bandwidth, relevance, timing, alignment and confidence. Credibility essentially is about the influencer’s expertise in a specific domain of knowledge while bandwidth is about the influencer’s ability to transmit his expert knowledge through a social media channel.

    The target audience’s likelihood of being influenced by the influencer is determined by relevance – how closely the target audience’s information needs coincide with the influencer’s expertise. The fourth factor is timing. The ability of the influencer to deliver his expert knowledge to the target at the time when the target needs it is also critical for influence to take place since there is only a small time-window in the decision-making process for the target to be influenced.

    The other critical factor that affects the target’s likelihood to be influenced is alignment or the amount of channel overlap between the target and the influencer. If the target is on a different social media channel, then the influencer’s information either takes too long or never reaches the target. The sixth key factor is confidence, or in other words, how much the target trusts the influencer with respect to his or her information needs. Even if the influencer is credible, the target must have confidence in him. Without trust, any information from the influencer will be downgraded by the target.

    In engaging with influencers, organisations should not treat influencers as employees, said Wu. Nor should they be paid or blatantly promoted. All these could lead to the influencer losing credibility. On the other hand, if they are left alone, word of mouth from them will not propagate far due to the decay effect of time and distance. Uncoordinated word of mouth, he said, has low efficacy. However, community can overcome the decay effect of distance and time on word of mouth.

    Wu suggests that organisations should co-create value with influencers by using a community. The community provides an audience for the influencer and amplifies their influence, said Wu. The brand sponsoring the community gets the benefit of effective word of mouth through the influencer, creating a win-win-win situation for everyone.

    Wu will be presenting another Media Innovation Lab workshop on November 25 on how ‘gamification’ techniques can be used to solve big business problems that involve long-term behaviour change. Apart from Wu, the initial series of Media Innovation Lab events feature workshops by Joyce Baz, Regional Communications Manager for Google in the Middle East; and video production expert Joel Schaeffer.

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    wasl Launches ‘Smart Centre’ in Conjunction with UAE Innovation Week Tue, 24 Nov 2015 06:15:22 +0000 waslNew facility builds on success of company’s eService programme,which now sees 95% of wasl property and land renewals conducted online.

    Dubai, UAE: wasl properties, a subsidiary of wasl Asset Management Group, has announced the launch of its Smart Centre. Opening for business in conjunction with UAE Innovation Week – which runs from November22-28 – the new facility aims to continue the outstanding success of wasl’s eService programme, which since its implementation four months agonow sees 95% of property and land renewals conducted online.

    “We are extremely excited about the launch of our new Smart Centre, which is wasl’s latest innovation to achieve outstanding performance and high levels of customer satisfaction in Dubai’s real estate sector. It is a tangible manifestation of our vision and strategy to improve the provision of swift, convenient and transparent services to customers,”said Zainab Mohammed, CEO Property Management and Marketing, wasl properties.

    wasl’s Smart Centre will see its eServices taken to the next level, with the launch of the centre enabling the company to manage all of wasl’s leasing transactions and processes through online services. The facility is considered the first and only dedicated centre that conducts leasing for property and land related transactions utilising smart services and will build on the company’s accomplishments in progressively moving online.

    Operating 24 hours-a-day and seven days a week, wasl’s Smart Centre will facilitate online real estate transactions, including lease renewals, maintenance requests, tenant profile updates, parking requests, NOC requests, violations registration, complaints registration, official letter requests and payments.The company says that the centre fulfills two maingoals; the first to maximise customer convenience and the second to play an important role in Dubai’s ambition to be a Smart City that links vital services through the use of smart devices accessed via high-speed wireless internet connections.

    “wasl’s Smart Centre forms part of our broader goal to be an instrumental force in supporting the inspired vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which aims to transform Dubai into a world-beating Smart City. It was an obvious decision to open the facility to coincide with the UAE Innovation Week, when the very best of the country’s technological advances will be celebrated,” added Ms. Mohammed.

    Since the full implementation of its eServices, wasl has been enhancing the service to a greater operational capacity so that customers can access more transaction processes through their electronic and mobile devices and without the need to be physically present at any of wasl’s offices. Such has been the success of the programme that today 95% of tenant and land lease renewals are conducted online through the eServices portals – a significant achievement in view of the company’s portfolio of nearly 35,000 residential units and 5,200 plots of industrial land.The introduction of wasl’s eServices has seen the average number of monthly online transactions related to property at around 2000, with the number of transactions for land half that figure.

    “wasl has been a pioneer in adopting information technology innovations for Dubai’s real estate sector, which is an industry that is underpinning the continued growth of the city. Our new Smart Centre is helping this growth by being a dedicated facilitythat handles and processes a comprehensive array of property transactions online, providing a swift and hassle-free service to our customers,” added Ms. Mohammed.

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    DEWA signs MoU with the American University in Dubai Tue, 24 Nov 2015 04:34:22 +0000 .

    Dubai Electricity and Water Authority ( DEWA ) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the American University in Dubai , to exchange experience and skills and enhance cooperation in research and practical studies, to support the strategic goals of both parties, and to offer the best services to the public. The agreement was signed by HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA and Dr. Lance de Masi, President of the American University in Dubai , attended by Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at DEWA , and other DEWA representatives, at DEWA ‘s head office.

    “As part of the National Innovation Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and in line with DEWA ‘s vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility, DEWA continuously works to improve its employees’ abilities, and to improve the research and practical studies carried out by the students in its academy, to enhance innovation and creativity, to contribute to DEWA ‘s government excellence goals. We are positive that this cooperation will benefit both parties, and will allow DEWA employees and the excellent students at DEWA ‘s Academy to progress their studies at the American University in Dubai . It also gives the university students access to information, to learn about DEWA ‘s pioneering projects, which have become a model for international best practice,” said Al Tayer.

    ” DEWA believes that the knowledge that will be exchanged by the signing of this MoU, plays a part in our strategy to build, develop and enable the UAE workforce, to support Emiratisation, and to continuously improve the skills of our employees. We prioritise cooperation with academic organisations to further our research, because we are certain that it leads to excellent results in improving efficiency and enabling UAE workers, in addition to improving government work procedures in line with world-class standards,” added Al Tayer.

    AL Tayer confirmed that this MoU, and similar agreements, contribute to the development of a solid research base that offers academic resources to encourage a culture of research among DEWA ‘s employees and the students at DEWA ‘s Academy. This is in addition to the UAE researchers who actively find solutions to challenges, by implementing an academic approach.

    Al Tayer hailed the important role that the university plays in supporting research and development in Dubai. He also affirmed DEWA ‘s commitment to forming strategic relations with educational organisations, in line with its belief in the importance of active partnerships, to support innovation and achieve optimal investment in human resources, to build an economy based on knowledge, to achieve DEWA ‘ goals in the fields of creation, innovation, Emiratisation and continuous learning.

    The MoU reinforces the partnership between both parties, to support the strategic goals of both sides, and to allow for the exchange of relevant studies and knowledge, and cooperation in research and practical studies, in addition to cooperation in practical training and specialised educational programs, and the hosting of group sessions, meetings and workshops, to support the creative skills of DEWA Academy’s students and both parties’ staff and students. Both parties will also cooperate to implement community initiatives and projects that serve their policies and goals, to enhance the role they play in community, in line with adopted frameworks and approaches.

    According to the agreement, DEWA will nominate employees and some DEWA Academy students from various fields, including administration, and electrical and mechanical engineering, to continue their studies at the university. DEWA and the university will also exchange books and publications, published by both parties, to learn practical skills, especially electronics. This supports the Dubai Government goal to transform all services into smart services that will be available around the clock.

    “This MoU improves knowledge and innovation at both organisations, in line with our goal to enhance innovation in all of our work. This also reflects DEWA ‘s and the university’s commitment to contribute actively to the process of sustainable development, and to enhance cooperation in areas of mutual interest. This includes training a workforce, and exchanging experience and skills to improve performance,” said Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Strategy & Business Development.

    DEWA has signed a series of MoUs and agreements with the best universities, training centres, and scientific and educational organisations in the UAE and overseas, to train its staff across a range of related fields.

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    H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum launches DAFZA Innovation Strategy Mon, 23 Nov 2015 09:46:51 +0000 HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum
    HH Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al-Maktoum

    DAFZA Ambitious plans for developing best-in-class innovative solutions to catapult it among the most innovative free zones in the world.

    UAE – The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority ( DAFZA )has announced that it will launch its ambitious Innovation strategy during the upcoming ‘UAE Innovation Week’ taking place from November 22 to 28, 2015 in line with the directive of H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan to mark 2015 as the ‘Year of Innovation.’ The week also builds on the National Innovation Strategy, which was launched by H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai as a primary means to achieve UAE Vision 2021’s goals.

    H.H. Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum praised the high levels of competitiveness and DAFZA ‘s unprecedented initiative that was brought about in direct alignment with HH President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan guidance and H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai ‘s vision, to make the UAE a key global country in innovation, a reality that demands innovative solutions and creative management which embeds innovation in its daily work style. H.H. also reaffirmed his confidence and trust in the management team which proved its firm commitment to produce the best results and to reach the highest scores through innovation, highlighting that the innovation strategy is embedded within DAFZA operations and ambitions to enable it to top all other most innovative free zones in the world.

    DAFZA ‘s Innovation Strategy aligns with the UAE National Innovation Strategy and has the overarching objective of establishing DAFZA as a world-class innovative organization. This compelling innovation strategy has three distinct goals: the delivery of value-added best-in-class innovative solutions, the adoption of working styles that inspire creative behaviors across the organization, and alignment with and active contribution to the UAE’s National Agenda through innovation. It also defines three key roles for DAFZA within the National Innovation Ecosystem: an Innovator lead role that directs and owns the innovation process, a Capital Provider that provides financial and physical resources to relevant local stakeholders to advance the country’s innovation initiatives, and a staunch Promoter of the UAE’s national innovation efforts in line with UAE Vision 2021.

    DAFZA will focus on the six key executable Innovation Enablers of Process, Technologies, Governance, Skills, Capabilities and the Culture necessary to stimulate innovation and achieve the goals of its innovation strategy. The Freezone will build on its Services Plan to identify top-priority services that drive and sustain innovation and determine improvement opportunities along request, processing and delivery channels across the entire services life cycle. It will also explore possible additional services based on local, regional and international benchmarks as well as outputs from tenants that will add to the levels of innovation within the organization.

    DAFZA has focused its efforts on creating and adopting “new-to-the-region” and “firsts” amongst free zones.

    Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Director General of DAFZA , said: “As H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum himself has said, ‘Innovation is not an option but a necessity.’ We share Sheikh Mohammed’s thinking that innovation should be ingrained in an organization as a work style, and that those who do not innovate stand to lose their competitiveness and risk failure. DAFZA ‘s innovation strategy is a strong, enthusiastic and determined response to H.H.’s call for a sharper focus on innovation as a pillar for the nation’s sustained development and global leadership. Innovation Week is an ideal vehicle for launching the strategy as we will be able to express our solidarity in supporting the most innovative ideas from the government and private sectors as well as from the public.”

    As part of DAFZA ‘s innovation strategy, various processes were put in place backed up by governance and technology that can support in the identification and shaping of new innovative ideas. The setting up and launch of a dedicated DAFZA Innovation Unit (DIU), embedding and stimulating innovation work style and focused innovation planning be it innovation training on creative thinking as well as innovation behavior coaching are all an integral part of DAFZA innovation framework. As part of conveying its innovation agenda and strategy, a DAFZA ‘s communication plan was devised with clear objectives, messages, channels and an effective reach amongst its various stakeholders audience.

    Innovation is part of DAFZA ‘s core corporate values and has been instrumental to the Freezone’s growth in the Middle East as a leading free zone. As part of its active involvement in UAE Innovation Week 2015, DAFZA has lined up a series of innovative initiatives including ‘International Innovative Platform for Islamic Economy Products 2015’ (IIPIEP 2015) organized in partnership with the International Centre of Islamic Economy. The event is drawing remarkable regional and international interest as a meeting point for developers of innovative products and relevant experts interested in exploring the economic, technical, legal and legislative aspects of Islamic economic products and finding appropriate mechanisms for transforming creative ideas into practical products that can advance the growth of the global Islamic Economy.

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    Egypt’s Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research Partners with Thomson Reuters to Advance the Impact of its Research Mon, 23 Nov 2015 06:15:44 +0000 thomas reutersCollaboration supports Egypt’s Presidential Council’s Upcoming Knowledge Bank and other efforts to effectively prepare a new generation of scholars.

    The Intellectual Property & Science business of Thomson Reuters , the world’s leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals, today announced a partnership with the Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research in Egypt to enhance its Knowledge Bank–to be launched in January 2016–empower its scientists and prepare a new generation scholars with the needed tools and advisement to advance their research and increase global impact.

    “This strategic partnership with Thomson Reuters is part of the Egyptian Knowledge Bank Project aimed at providing all Egyptian citizens with access to quality research and education materials,” said Secretary General Secretariat of the Specialized Presidential Council for Education and Research, Tarek Shawki, PhD. “This agreement will provide all Egyptians with access to world-class publications and offer critical tools they need to excel in their education and research. The Presidential Council will also explore a wider range of Thomson Reuters ‘ products and solutions in the next four years.”

    Thomson Reuters will work with the Council to support the nation’s research efforts by providing guidance through on going workshops and key tools, including Web of Science, InCites, Journal Citation Reports and Thomson Innovation to enable the nation’s scientists and research institutions to successfully navigate the lifecycle of innovation, from discovery to protection to commercialization.

    Egyptian scientific researchers and institutions will now have access to the Web of Science–the premier web-based platform for scientific and scholarly research– to better inform their efforts and connect with similar researchers throughout the world. They will be able to assess the global and regional impact of their work with InCites, a research evaluation tool, enabling universities to measure research output and impact, monitor trends, and benchmark their performance against peers at the individual, departmental and global levels. InCites also provides access to the Journal Citation Reports, the most comprehensive collection of profiles and metrics, including the Journal Impact Factor to support deep evaluation of journal attributes and performance. Thomson Innovation, the leading Intellectual Property intelligence platform will expedite research and provide critical insights for confident intellectual property decisions.

    “We are delighted to announce this strategic partnership with the Egyptian Presidential Council for Education and Scientific Research, said Nadim Najjar, managing director of Middle East and North Africa, Thomson Reuters . “Under this agreement, Thomson Reuters will provide Egypt with the world’s critical research and analytics designed to facilitate the life cycle of innovation in the country and provide comprehensive solutions for academia, publishers, and government bodies in Egypt. More than 20 million individuals use our Intellectual Property and Science products in academic, government, corporate and legal institutions and more than 7,000 organizations in 100 countries rely on Web of Science.”

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