The Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK) announced the winners for 2017 ‘ADEK Award for Research Excellence’ (AARE) competitive grants program. The program is designed to identify and fund the most outstanding research proposals in targeted sectors within the Emirate of Abu Dhabi.
His Excellency Dr Ali Al Nuaimi, the Chairman of ADEK, noted that “The higher education sector in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi plays a crucial role in the advancement of a knowledge-based economy and in contributing to a productive society”.
“One of ADEK’s principal strategies in helping them achieve these goals is through enhancement of research and development, especially in the priority sectors of the Emirate.”
His Excellency went on to say “The creation of this award has put in place a world class structure to support research and innovation, which will act as a driver for economic transformation and the development of a skilled and competitive national research community. This is of special consideration given the importance of innovation recognised by the leadership of Abu Dhabi and outlined in the Abu Dhabi Plan. ”
ADEK’s Higher Education Executive Director, Dr. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas stated that “The award recognizes the highest quality and most strategic research being conducted across Abu Dhabi’s higher education institutions. Following a rigorous competition with almost 270 proposals submitted from 12 institutions, the AARE review committee selected 41 proposals in eight institutions to receive awards across all sectors. The awards are targeted to sectors of strategic importance to Abu Dhabi, including 33 for the science, technology and engineering areas (water, energy, the environment; manufacturing, infrastructure, aerospace; ICT, electronics, robotics; and health, food and agriculture), and eight were awarded for education and the social sciences. We believe that the ADEK award will provide recognition for the culture of research excellence in the Emirate.”
Dr. Baniyas further added “I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all of the well-deserved winners who prevailed against strong competition and met the most rigorous standards of the international peer review process.”
The proposals were judged by international peer review by reviewers from leading research institutions around the world with criteria including research quality and originality, feasibility of the proposal, relevance to strategic sectors in Abu Dhabi, qualifications of applicants, potential path to impact and human capital development. Additional consideration was given for potential institutional cost share, collaboration with industry, inter-institutional and STEM education engagement.
Following a pilot program in 2015, the official establishment of this award marks a milestone for ADEK and demonstrates the Department’s commitment to recognizing innovative impactful research excellence, while supporting the most outstanding faculty, researchers and students in higher education within the Emirate.