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‘Innovators Under 35’ judges committee announced

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Abdulaziz AlJaziri, Deputy CEO and COO of DFF

The Dubai Future Foundation and EmTech MENA have announced the committee of judges for ‘Innovators Under 35’, a global competition for young innovators, in its second year.

The winners will present at EmTech MENA 2019, an annual conference on emerging technologies, which will be held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, in cooperation with Dubai Future Foundation.

The first ‘Innovators Under 35 MENA’ was launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, in July 2018, coinciding with the launch the MIT Technology Review Arabia, the Arabic edition of the technology magazine issued by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston.

Commenting on the announcement, Abdulaziz Al Jaziri, Deputy CEO and COO of Dubai Future Foundation said, “Organising this global event in Dubai attracts talents from key future sectors, supports innovation and emerging technologies and allows Arab talents the opportunity to showcase their innovative ideas to International companies and government entities‏.”

“This initiative is a global platform that aims at shedding light on successes achieved by young Arab innovators in developing emerging technologies, their ability to cope with rapid changes, and contribute positively to the global civilisation,” Al Jaziri added.

The committee includes a selection of thought leaders, university professors, deans, investors, entrepreneurs and researchers from various Arab countries who have long and pioneering experience in different sectors, including artificial intelligence, investment, medicine, genomics, media, agriculture, languages, software, biotechnologies, and others.

The list includes, Huda Al Hashimi, Assistant to the Director-General for Strategy and Innovation at the Prime Minister’s Office; Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Media City, Dubai Studio City and Dubai Production City; Mansoor Al Awar, Chancellor of Hamdan bin Mohamed Smart University; Razan Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director of Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi; Abdulaziz Al Jaziri, Deputy CEO and COO of Dubai Future Foundation; Bashar Kilani, Region Executive, Gulf Countries and Levant, IBM Middle East; Dr. Alawi Alsheikh-Ali, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at Mohammed bin Rashid University for Medicine and Health Sciences; and Dr. Maryam Matar, Founder and Chairperson, UAE Genetic Diseases Association, among others.

Members of the committee stressed the importance of such awards in motivating young Arab minds to adopt creative thinking in designing solutions and future initiatives aimed at improving the lives of individuals and communities.
Razan Al Mubarak said, “We live in an age of fast-paced transformation, which fuels the urge to rethink how we live and interact with our environment. As leaders of tomorrow, the responsibility is in the hands of young innovators who break the traditional ways of thinking to find new sustainable and effective solutions for future challenges.”

For his part, Mansoor Al Awar said, “Innovation has always been the main pillar for progression and prosperity of nations. However, in recent decades, innovation and the ability to create futuristic solutions is what ensures the existence and continuity of a nation. Giving youth support and guidance is key to creating a thriving future.”

The “Innovators Under 35” award was launched in 1999 by MIT Technology Review. Over the years, it honoured innovators who marked modern history, such as the founders of Facebook and Google.