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Italy aims at strengthening cooperation in innovation with UAE
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 17 - 09 - 2020

The Embassy of Italy to the UAE launched a new initiative titled InnovItalyUAE, focused on exploring opportunities to enhance bilateral cooperation in innovation between Italy and UAE, starting on Sept. 30.
The initiative, organized with the Khalifa University of Science and Technology and in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation, will be on the following sectors: cybersecurity, space research, smart cities, life sciences, food technologies, renewable energy and circular economy. It will feature two sets of events:
Six online forums (one per sector) to take place between September and December 2020 with speakers from the academic and business sectors of both countries, aimed at comparing the Italian and Emirati experiences in addressing the common challenges and setting the scope for an increased partnership in the above sectors;
Six in-presence workshops, to take place in principle in the first half of 2021, with the participation of all the stakeholders, from governments to universities, research centers, companies, startups, incubators and financial entities, to explore more deeply the opportunities of bilateral cooperation and identify specific projects.
Nicola Lener, Ambassador of Italy to the UAE, said: "Italy and the UAE are longstanding political, economic and cultural partners. Italy is proud to have contributed with its technology to the development of this country and to see that the quality of its consumer goods is highly appreciated here, just as we are happy to know that the ‘Belpaese' is one of the privileged destinations for our Emirates friends, as the UAE are more and more for our compatriots.
"However, also in light of the disruptive experience of the pandemic, we believe that the time has come to make a quantum leap in our relations, drawing on the depths of our cultural roots and our projection towards the future to focus more and more on a collaboration based on innovation, knowledge and connectivity.
"At the same time, this initiative aims to prepare Italy's participation in EXPO2020 Dubai, which has received the baton from the EXPO2015 in Milan and to which we therefore feel particularly attached.
"We are pleased to begin this journey together with Khalifa University and in collaboration with the Dubai Future Foundation, two of the pillars of innovation in the UAE. For our part, we are ready to involve the best energies from Italian institutions, research and industry, with the view to further increase the quality of our relationships."
Cybersecurity forum on Sept. 30
InnovItalyUAE will put a spotlight on cybersecurity in its the inaugural forum, scheduled on Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. Cybersecurity has become a major concern for all technological domains, including telecommunication, energy, manufacturing, space travel, tackling critical diseases or analyzing the climate.
With the ongoing digital transformation, everything is connected and vulnerable at the same time, and waves of dangerous attacks like ransomware have increased in severity and scale. New cybersecurity challenges include the emerging role of Artificial Intelligence in cyber-attack prevention, but also as a target of coordinated attacks, especially when implemented on the in Internet-of-Things and cloud infrastructure.
Attendees will have a chance to join in the conversation as the speakers' present the two countries' national strategies, discussing governance challenges and analyzing of the main technological issues in each sector, paving the way to the solutions and ideas presented by innovative start-ups.
The schedule of the other free-to-attend online forums are as follows: Space Oct. 8; Smart cities and sustainable mobility Oct. 21; Life sciences Nov. 4; Food technologies Nov. 18; and Renewable energy, water, and the circular economy Dec. 9. — SG


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