UAE giving right push to knowledge economy

The UAE is on track to usher in a knowledge-based economy. Recently, it adopted the Science, Technology and Innovation’s Higher Policy, which includes 100 national initiatives in the educational, health, energy, transportation, space and water sectors. AED300 billion is being pumped into this ambitious plan.
A knowledge-based economy has four requisites: education and training, information infrastructure, economic incentive and institutional regime and innovations systems. Such an economy will remain unaffected by oil price swings. The UAE is on the right path of transitioning to a knowledge-based economy as it promotes innovation, research and development. It has already made crucial decisions that form the foundation of a sustainable economy. New policies have been made to give impetus to clean energy and renewables. More and more Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) are also being encouraged to experiment with innovative ventures, where women entrepreneurs are leading from the front.
A knowledge economy depends on human capital. To strengthen and develop such capital, it is imperative that educational institutions in the country offer more courses that concentrate on vocational education. These will enhance their professional acumen and create a huge talent pool, which can then be utilized in the developmental projects. The educational institutes have to spot a particular knack and aptitude in a student and help in honing it. A skilled worker will ensure that the progressive plans that are rolled out give the optimum result.
A slew of measures are in place to develop technological research and collaboration. A case in point is Masdar’s pact with Executive Affairs Authority that sets new standards for air conditioners (ACs). Research is undergoing to devise a design that could save 10percent of all domestic energy consumption in the UAE.
The country’s long-term strategy for economic diversification can only be successful if the plans are sustainable and the knowledge economy drives this growth. The development has to be cohesive as well as inclusive. It has to take into account all the sectors that shape the economic landscape of the country. No sector should be left out. And R&D for each is equally important whether it is pharma, space or aviation. Only when there is proper research and development, will industrial competitiveness follow.
The UAE has to “create, transfer and adapt knowledge” to flourish. The process has to be continuous and the effort has to be concerted. Support has to come from all stakeholders to make the reality of knowledge economy happen for the Emirates. The goal might appear quite far-fetched today, but with current strides that are being taken, the country will achieve it by 2021.

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