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UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology Visits Advanced Technology Research Council, Tours Niche Research Centers in Abu Dhabi

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His Excellency Salem Butti Al Qubaisi, Director General, UAE Space Agency, also joins visit to Abu Dhabi’s R&D Enabler

Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, today visited Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching entity mandated to shape the emirate’s advanced technology R&D ecosystem and drive the strategic research priorities of the wider UAE. She was also accompanied by His Excellency Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.

His Excellency Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC welcomed the high-profile visitors, and briefed them on ATRC’s key projects, as well as ATRC’s technology program management pillar, ASPIRE. The visitors toured the state-of-the-art research centers at Technology Innovation Institute (TII), ATRC’s applied research pillar, and witnessed first-hand several of the breakthrough projects currently underway.

The tour commenced with the Directed Energy Research Center (DERC), where the visitors were briefed by Dr. Chaouki Kasmi, DERC’s Chief Researcher and his team on the Center’s latest successes in launching the Laser Matter Interaction Laboratory, and the air-borne Multi-band Interferometric Microwave Imaging Project – the latter in collaboration with Brazilian technology disruptor, RADAZ.

The team also demonstrated the GPS Spoofer, a device that resembles a radio transmitter and can send a counterfeit GPS signal to a receiver antenna to counter a legitimate GPS satellite signal. The visitors gained insights into DERC’s crowning achievement of 2021 – launching the region’s first electromagnetic compatibility labs (EMC labs) – a facility that has significantly empowered the UAE and the wider region through minimizing the outsourcing of electromagnetic compatibility testing requirements.

The Minister of State for Advanced Technology and His Excellency Al Qubaisi then toured the Quantum Research Center (QRC) and met with Dr. James Grieve, Director, QRC, and his team and were updated on QRC’s exciting efforts to build the Arab region’s first quantum computer. They listened to the ongoing enhancements to QIBO, an open-source operating system for quantum devices, and to the team’s efforts to gradually boost the capacity of the quantum bits or qubits that contribute to exponentially boosting the processing powers of the computer.

The Minister also gained insights from Dr. Najwa Aaraj, Chief Researcher, Cryptography Research Center (CRC) and her team on the Center’s project to develop post-quantum cryptography algorithms that could help maintain encryption and the security of confidential data in a post-quantum world. Her Excellency also witnessed a simple demonstration on key-exchange and digital signatures.

Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri and His Excellency Al Qubaisi also toured the Autonomous Robotics Research Center (ARRC) facilities and learned about long-range drone flights and indoor scanning capabilities in robotics. The team briefed them on its recent success as TII-EuroRacing Team in the world’s first overtaking race for autonomous robotics – the Autonomous Challenge @CES 2022 in Las Vegas.

TII’s senior leadership highlighted the launch of ATRC’s latest entity – VentureOne, its commercialization arm that helps facilitate IP creation, strengthen the startup ecosystem, and boost the market viability of the research breakthroughs across TII’s Research Centers and beyond, to ensure that they go mainstream and impact the widest cross-section of the global population.

The leadership team appraised Her Excellency Al Amiri and His Excellency Al Qubaisi on TII’s three new Research Centers – in Propulsion, Alternative Energy, and Biotechnology - that are set to add value in deepening the thriving advanced technology ecosystem already in place in Abu Dhabi while strengthening its credibility as a preferred R&D hub that attracts global experts and nurtures local STEM talent to carry out groundbreaking research and shape transformative outcomes

Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri said: “Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council mirrors the UAE‘s commitment to developing innovative strategies to solve tomorrows problems today, and ensuring that research and development is at the forefront of building a brighter future for all.”

“Research Institutions are a leading partner in driving innovation and further developing the R&D sector, and only through collaboration, science, research and innovation can we release the potential to unlock and embrace talent, diversity, resilience and adaptability, to turn our biggest challenges into our brighter opportunities.”

“ATRC is at the forefront of exploration, experimentation and breakthrough technology, helping develop our knowledge-based economy at an accelerated pace and create an ecosystem that supports and creates sustainable jobs and unlock greater value from sectors key to the UAE’s future economy.”

Speaking on the visit, His Excellency Al Bannai said: “Her Excellency Sarah Al Amiri’s visit to our Masdar City premises coincides with the launch of so many exciting initiatives that are set to consolidate our advanced technology leadership in the UAE and beyond. We have worked relentlessly since inception to identify core challenges today, forecast the imminent opportunities and strengthen our preparedness as an advanced technology hub to capitalize on them. The tangible results – seen in our growing autonomy as a tech enabler – encourage us to pull out all stops and step up the momentum in the years to come.”