Minister tours advanced tech research council in Abu Dhabi - GulfToday

Minister tours advanced tech research council in Abu Dhabi


Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri speaks during a visit to Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council.

Gulf Today, Staff Reporter

Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology, on Thursday visited Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), the overarching entity mandated to shape the emirate’s advanced technology R&D ecosystem and drive the strategic research priorities of the wider UAE. She was also accompanied by Salem Butti Salem Al Qubaisi, Director General of the UAE Space Agency.

Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary General of ATRC welcomed the high-profile visitors, and briefed them on ATRC’s key projects, as well as ATRC’s technology program management pillar, ASPIRE. The visitors toured the state-of-the-art research centres at Technology Innovation Institute (TII), ATRC’s applied research pillar, and witnessed first-hand several of the breakthrough projects currently under way.


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The tour commenced with the Directed Energy Research Center (DERC), where the visitors were briefed by Dr. Chaouki Kasmi, DERC’s Chief Researcher and his team on the centre’s latest successes in launching the Laser Matter Interaction Laboratory, and the air-borne Multi-band Interferometric Microwave Imaging Project – the latter in collaboration with Brazilian technology disruptor, RADAZ.


The team also demonstrated the GPS Spoofer, a device that resembles a radio transmitter and can send a counterfeit GPS signal to a receiver antenna to counter a legitimate GPS satellite signal. The visitors gained insights into DERC’s crowning achievement of 2021 – launching the region’s first electromagnetic compatibility labs (EMC labs) – a facility that has significantly empowered the UAE and the wider region through minimising the outsourcing of electromagnetic compatibility testing requirements.

The Minister of State for Advanced Technology and Al Qubaisi then toured the Quantum Research Center (QRC) and met Dr. James Grieve, Director, QRC, and his team and were updated on QRC’s exciting efforts to build the Arab region’s first quantum computer. They listened to the ongoing enhancements to QIBO, an open-source operating system for quantum devices, and to the team’s efforts to gradually boost the capacity of the quantum bits or qubits that contribute to exponentially boosting the processing powers of the computer.

Sarah Al Amiri and other officials during her visit.

The Minister also gained insights from Dr. Najwa Aaraj, Chief Researcher, Cryptography Research Center (CRC) and her team on the centre’s project to develop post-quantum cryptography algorithms that could help maintain encryption and the security of confidential data in a post-quantum world. She also witnessed a simple demonstration on key-exchange and digital signatures.

Sarah Bint Yousif Al Amiri and Al Qubaisi also toured the Autonomous Robotics Research Center (ARRC) facilities and learned about long-range drone flights and indoor scanning capabilities in robotics. The team briefed them on its recent success as TII-EuroRacing Team in the world’s first overtaking race for autonomous robotics – the Autonomous Challenge @CES 2022 in Las Vegas.

TII’s senior leadership highlighted the launch of ATRC’s latest entity – VentureOne, its commercialisation arm that helps facilitate IP creation, strengthens the startup ecosystem, and boosts the market viability of the research breakthroughs across TII’s research centres and beyond, to ensure that they go mainstream and impact the widest cross-section of the global population.

The leadership team appraised Al Amiri and Al Qubaisi on TII’s three new research centres – in Propulsion, Alternative Energy, and Biotechnology – that are set to add value in deepening the thriving advanced technology ecosystem already in place in Abu Dhabi while strengthening its credibility as a preferred R&D hub that attracts global experts and nurtures local STEM talent to carry out groundbreaking research and shape transformative outcomes.

Sarah Al Amiri said: “Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council mirrors the UAE‘s commitment to developing innovative strategies to solve tomorrow's problems today, and ensuring that research and development is at the forefront of building a brighter future for all.”

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