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Thursday, June 13, 2024

Sharjah creates new research, technology and innovation powerhouse by merging existing R&D institutions


Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTIP) is to fuse with the Sharjah Oasis for Technology and Innovation (SOTI) in a move that SRTIP Chairperson and President Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi says will boost UAE’s knowledge economy and status as an entrepreneurial haven.

Under the merger, SRTIP will absorb SOTI and combine the organizations’ resources and expertise to form an independent Free Zone Authority (FZA). Consequently, the structure of SRTIP will change to reflect the new FZA’s form and function.

This advancement will further unlock the considerable potential of Sharjah’s technology and innovation sector while cementing UAE’s position as a global destination for business and entrepreneurship.

Since the Ruler of Sharjah H.H. Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed AlQasimi established SRTIP in 2016 by Emiri decree, it has operated as a ‘triple helix’ collaboration between industry, government and academia with oversight from the American University of Sharjah (AUS) Enterprise Program. 

Now, under Emiri Decree No. (9) of 2023, AUS’s oversight will be replaced by an independent Board of Directors, Chaired by Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi, that will manage and represent the Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park Free Zone Authority.

Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi said: ‘This is a very exciting development for Sharjah. Merging SRTIP and SOTI, and formalizing SRTIP’s role as an independent Free Zone Authority means we can make bigger strides in our mission to support the entrepreneurship ecosystem and develop the knowledge economy in Sharjah and the UAE.

‘Under the stewardship of AUS, SRTIP has been hugely successful in enhancing Sharjah’s standing as an innovator in the technology sector. It has created an attractive and dynamic business environment for more than 2,000 companies specializing in advanced innovative technologies, which have invested more than $100 million in their research. The time is right to reach higher and underscore Sharjah’s position as a leading global destination for innovation, business, and entrepreneurship. The establishment of a diverse and experienced Board of Directors to guide and support the vision of SRTIP is an important step on that path.’

The new Board of Directors will comprise industry leaders and experienced entrepreneurs with relevant knowledge and experience to guide SRTIP towards its future mission.

They include:

  • Prince Khaled bin Waleed bin Talal, Founding Chairman, KBW Investments, Founder and CEO of KBW Ventures
  • Sheikh Dr. Majid Al Qassimi, Founding Partner of Soma Mater
  • Dr. Abdelaziz Saeed Obaid Bin Butti Almheiri, Chairman of the Sharjah Health Authority and Chairman of Sharjah Healthcare City Authority
  • Adel Abdullah Ali, CEO of Air Arabia Group
  • Ahmed Al Qaseer, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq)
  • Najla Al Midfa, CEO of Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa)
  • Khaled Al Huraimel, CEO of BEEAH Group
  • Dr. Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, Vice Chairman of Emaar Development
  • Alisha Moopen, Deputy Managing Director, Aster DM Healthcare
  • Abdulaziz Loughani, CEO of Floward
  • Faizal Kottikollon, Founder and Chairman of KEF Holdings
  • Samer Sayegh, Managing Director of National Paints Factories Co. Ltd.
  • Mudassir Sheikha, Co-Founder and CEO of Careem

To ensure the smooth leadership transition, senior officials from University of Sharjah, AUS and SRTIP are also invited to join the new Board of Directors, namely:

  • Hamid M.K. Al Naimiy, Chancellor of the University of Sharjah
  • Dr. Susan Mumm, Chancellor of American University of Sharjah
  • Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO, Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP)

The four-year membership of the Board will help to establish a clear vision for the long-term growth of the organization.

Members will assist in overseeing SRTIP’s day-to-day operations and support the alignment of its strategic goals with the expectations of internal and external stakeholders. They will also work to enhance its global credibility, developing marketing outreach and partnership, and ensuring its long-term sustainability.

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