Research and development (R&D) is a top government priority in the UAE, as it underpins the country’s rapid growth. Various campaigns and efforts have recently been launched to support R&D in the UAE, such as the R&D Governance Policy announced in 2021, which resulted in the establishment of the Emirates Research and Development Council. In addition, a new National Guide for Measurement of R&D Expenditures in the Government Sector has been launched, and an Advanced Technology Research Council established.
MoIAT’s launch of the National Guide for Measurement of R&D Expenditures in [the] Government Sector, in collaboration with the Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Centre and 16 local and federal entities across the UAE, is a pioneering step in line with the government’s directives to develop modern tools that encourage innovation in various fields.
HE Hussain bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education
Research and Development Expenditure as a percentage of GDP in 2020
Allocated by the Abu Dhabi Government to boost R&D
Research funding awarded to 53 projects across eight key sectors in 2021.
The industrial sector's R&D spending by 2031
In launching the Research and Development (R&D) Governance Policy and the Emirates Research and Development Council, the UAE is moving to strengthen the performance and effectiveness of the UAE’s science and technology (S&T) sector and its efforts to achieve a knowledge-based economy.
The substance of the policy encompasses regulations, principles and standards for research across all sectors. The policy aims to:
The UAE’s R&D scene is already well established, with important work being done through the Emirates Center for Happiness Research, The National Space Science and Technology Center, Khalifa Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, to name a few. In addition, R&D cooperation has expaned, with international joint centers such as the UAE-Korea Joint R&D Technical Center, a joint initiative between Khalifa University and the Korea Basic Science Institute (KBSI). The expansion of R&D international partnerships to boost capacity are set to remain a key focus for the UAE Government in the future.
The guide is part of the development of an integrated system to effectively govern and co-ordinate R&D activities, in line with the goals of Operation 300bn, to further enhance the thriving national industrial sector.
HE Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology