MENA Regional Launch

Saturday, September 20, 2014


The Global Innovation Index 2014.

MENA Regional Launch
Dubai, UAE
July 21, 2014.

On July 21 the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) launch of the Global Innovation Index took place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The event, hosted by knowledge partner du, was granted with the presence of His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs in the UAE Federal Government, signaling the growing importance of innovation in the UAE’s agenda.

The event’s main panel assembled du’s CEO Osman Sultan, who spoke about the importance of ‘connected innovation’ as the core to building a happier, smarter world; Mr. Najeeb Al Ali, representing the Emirates Competitive Council, speaking about the importance of the knowledge economy and the different aspects of innovation; Bruno Lanvin, co-editor of the GII, who presented an overview of the global rankings as well as the highlights of this year’s MENA region and performance (presentation here); and Rafael Escalona Reynoso, Lead Researcher at the GII who provided recommendations and reviewed technical aspects behind the index.

A second panel focusing more on the UAE’s innovation gathered the views of Dr. Bruce Ferguson, Head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Center at the Masdar Institute; Mr. Omar Al Mahmoud, acting CEO of the ICT Fund initiative led by the UAE Telecommunications Regulation Authority; and Mr. Alexander Williams, Director of Strategy and Policy Division in Dubai, SME. Among the themes these panelists touched were the factors behind the UAE current success in innovation and what can be some of the future challenges the UAE will face in years to come.

In addition, du presented an application with a series of functions that allowed capturing the views and opinions of the attendees –either on site or attending virtually. This created an interactive environment that allowed sharing some of the public’s session feedback and questions through the app in real time.

The event had a full house in terms of attendance, including media attendance and PR coverage. The press releases and a comprehensive record of the event and conference, including photos and videos, are all freely available.


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