The UAE plans to be The Most Innovative Nation by 2021

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On October 19, 2014, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, launched a new strategy to make the UAE one of the world’s most innovative nations within seven years.

We applaud the UAE for the plans they have put in place.  We have seven questions at the end of this post.  Your answers may provide useful insights to the UAE as they implement this bold initiative.  Thank you for addressing them!

Strategy, Primary Focus and Goals:


“This innovation strategy is a national priority for our programme of development and progress. It is a primary tool to achieve Vision 2021 and an engine for the growth of distinctive skills and capabilities across the nation. We have always called for creativity in every field: this strategy is a concrete step to implement that vision. These initiatives around innovation will enhance quality of life in the UAE and take our economy to new horizons,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The strategy will be implemented along four parallel tracks.

The first track will anchor a stimulating environment for innovation (see below) in the form of supportive institutions and laws.

The second track will develop government innovation by institutionalising innovative practices with the support of an integrated system of modern tools. The strategy requires all government entities to reduce spending by 1 percent and to dedicate the savings to research and innovation projects.

The third track will encourage private sector innovation by stimulating companies to establish innovation and scientific research centres, to adopt new technologies, and to develop innovative products and services.

The fourth track will qualify individuals with highly innovative skills by concentrating on science, technology, engineering and mathematics, including the creation of educational material for schools and universities.

Implement the strategy in phases with the first stage (30 national initiatives) to be completed within three years.

Primary Focus:

The UAE will focus on seven sectors: Education, Health, Renewable energy, Space, Technology, Transport and Water.

The UAE will appoint and train 60 CEOs of Innovation:


The UAE has announced the creation of 60 new job posts, Chief Executive Officer of Innovation, for every government department, Deputy PM and Minister of Presidential Affairs.  This was announced by Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the UAE Government Summit on February 11, 2015.

Innovation CEOs will be trained at the University of Cambridge, Judge Business School:

An agreement with Cambridge to train 60 Innovation CEOs has been signed. “Our goal is for everyone to work with the spirit of innovation,” Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan

We at Value Innovations, Inc. are not sure if these CEOs will be trained in the UK or at the Middle East Research Center (MERC) which was opened in May, 14, 2014.

Judge_Middle_East_Business_School_150215The MERC is located in SharJah, in the UAE.

Sharja_Business_School_150215Here are some thoughts of Peter Hiscocks, the CEO of Cambridge Judge Business School Executive Education:

Peter_Hiscocks_Judde_150215What is Your Reaction to this Bold UAE Initiative?:

Could you reflect on the following questions, and share your thoughts?  Thank you.

  1. If you were going to train 60 CEO’s of Innovation, what would you do, where would you do it and how would you do it?
  2. What are the criteria you would use to screen candidates for this program?
  3. If part of curriculum involved work in a university setting, would you select one university or put together a partnership of a number of universities?
  4. If so, assuming they would be willing to collaborate, which universities would you add?
  5. If you used just one University, would it be the Judge School of Business?  If not, which University would you select and why?
  6. Should part of the curriculum involve shadowing of CEOs of the world’s Most Innovative Companies?  This assumes they would be willing to do this.
  7. Are there other changes you would make?  If so, what are they?

Thank you.

Acknowledgements:  We have extracted information from three sources:

Staff Writer, “UAE launches plan to be “Among the Most Innovative Nations in the World” with 7 yrs,”  Arabian, October 19, 2014, 7:47pm  Read More

Aarti Nagraj, “UAE creates “CEO of Innovation” post for Government Agencies,” Gulf Business, February 12, 1015  Read More

The University of Cambridge Judge Business School, Middle East Research Center website Read More

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