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du, from the Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), is leading the UAE’s efforts to foster home-grown innovation and entrepreneurship with the launch of the first-ever IoT and AI Pioneers Competition. Giving the UAE’s youth an opportunity to spearhead the innovation initiatives established by HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, the event encourages contestants to tap into their creative thinking for the proliferation of ideas which will lead the UAE into the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

Driven by U5GIG, which was launched by du in 2016, the IoT and AI Pioneers Competition has been created to address the leaderships’ directive for a diversified economy boosted by innovative knowledge-based sectors. Throughout the competition, participants are encouraged to herald innovative ideas for the evolution of smart city, Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Internet of Things (IoT) advancements.

U5GIG is a pioneering consortium of technical and academic organisations in the UAE, as well as global telecom vendors. Collectively, the consortium aims to pool their expertise to define and develop a global 5G network and IoT equipment and services.
U5GIG allows universities and technical organisations across the UAE to work together and participate in the development of the 5G ecosystem. It also exists for academia and industry players to test applications and technologies in a real-world setting.

Driving future innovation
Saleem AlBlooshi, Chief Technology Officer, EITC, said, “The growing motivations for knowledge and innovation-based initiatives are at the heart of Vision 2021’s ‘United in Knowledge’ pillar.

“At du, our mission is to nurture a spirit of innovation that makes this vision a reality. With the launch of U5GIG we have devised a platform to address national priorities, and by launching initiatives such as the IoT and AI Pioneers Competition, we are directly transforming the UAE’s social and economic futures and progressing our intelligent networks,” AlBlooshi added.

Creative minds, brilliant ideas
The IoT and AI Pioneers competition is designed to inspire up-and-coming talents to play key roles in bringing HH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s initiative for science, technology, innovation and the UAE Future Accelerators programme to life.

Throughout the competition, participants are asked to adopt and implement creative ideas that support innovation-relevant strategic objectives. They will also need to establish and maintain close, productive collaborations with academic institutions, industry and the community, while also directing state of the art technology to lead UAE communications technology innovation.

The top winners will receive valuable cash prizes and in addition to this, the winning idea of the overall competition will have the potential to be commercialised at a later date.

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