Abu Dhabi forms AI and Advanced Technology Council
New law issued to establish a new AI and Advanced Technology Council
#UAE #policy - Abu Dhabi has formed a new Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC), to develop and implement policies and strategies related to research, infrastructure and investments in AI and advanced technology in Abu Dhabi. The formation of the AIATC reflects the leadership of Abu Dhabi's strong belief in the importance of technological leadership in building the economy of the future.
SO WHAT? - The formation of the new Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC), was executed via a new law issued by His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, underscoring the critical role the emirate's leadership expects technology to play in the emirate's future economy and development. The creation of the AIATC arguably moves technology strategy and policy development closer to the ruler and the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, which is chaired by the Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi, Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE and Ruler of Abu Dhabi, issued a new law on Monday (22-Jan-24) establishing the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council (AIATC).
"The council will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and strategies related to research, infrastructure and investments in artificial intelligence and advanced technology in Abu Dhabi."
"The council will develop plans and research programmes in collaboration with local and global partners to enhance Abu Dhabi's status in the fields of artificial intelligence and advanced technology.”
In a separate resolution the ruler appointed His Highness Sheikh Tahnoun bin Zayed Al Nahyan as Chairman of the AIATC. Sheikh Tahnoun is National Security Advisor chair of Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), sovereign wealth fund ADQ, International Holding Co. (IHC), and Abu Dhabi-based technology holding company G42.
His Highness Sheikh Khaled bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi's crown prince, has been appointed as Vice Chairman. Sheikh Khaled chairs the Abu Dhabi Executive Council.
The resolution also appointed the following as members of the new council: His Excellency Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group Chief Executive Officer of Mubadala; His Excellency Jassem Mohamed Bu Ataba Al Zaabi, chair of Abu Dhabi's Department of Finance, vice chair of the UAE Central Bank and advisor to Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI); His Excellency Faisal Abdulaziz Al Bannai, secretary general of the Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) and chair of Abu Dhabi's defence technology group EDGE; and Peng Xiao, group chief executive officer of G42.
ZOOM OUT - Abu Dhabi has been rapidly developing and heavily funding its technology ecosystem over the past six years, as the priority placed on digital transformation, technology development and building a global commercial technology hub has been raised each year.
The emirate established an Advanced Technology and Research Council in 2020 to develop policy and strategy for developing Abu Dhabi’s R&D ecosystem and facilitating the output and commercialisation of intellectual property (IP) from the ecosystem. Last year the Smart and Autonomous Vehicles Industry cluster (SAVI) was launched, with a series of agreements with global electric vehicle (EV), autonomous vehicle (AV) and electric vertical take off and landing (eVTOL) manufacturers to open up in the cluster.
The creation of the AIATC is a clear indication that the stakes involved in building Abu Dhabi’s technology ecosystem have never been higher.
IMO - The creation of the Artificial Intelligence and Advanced Technology Council comes at a time when all Abu Dhabi sovereign wealth funds and semi-government funds have dramatically increased their technology focus. Meanwhile, digitisation now means far more to the government and the public sector than simple improvements in productivity. On the R&D front too, the effort and spending is being increased across a wider range of initiatives and entities, with different core competencies.
So, there’s a good argument for the full integration of Abu Dhabi’s technology focus and spending into the emirate’s development policy. In addition, against the backdrop of heavy investment and accelerating R&D, geopolitical issues and opportunities loom large. Abu Dhabi’s tech ecosystem not only needs financial backing, but also positioning globally as a potential partner, rather than an opponent, requiring close alignment with foreign policy at the highest level.
Read more about Abu Dhabi’s technology policy:
R&D moves up Abu Dhabi's agenda (Middle East AI News)
Disrupt or be disrupted! (Middle East AI News)
Making R&D a national priority (Middle East AI News)
Abu Dhabi announces new smart mobility cluster (Middle East AI News)
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