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Sandooq Al Watan collaborates with DSDF and Advanced PyroTechnics to launch AED 5M innovation

ABU DHABI. February 19th, 2019

Sandooq Al Watan, in collaboration with Tawazun Economic Council’s Defense and Security Development Fund and Advanced PyroTechnics (APT) launched the first contest under the UAE’s Centurium Challenge. The total prize allocated by the Defense and Security Development Fund for this first contest is AED 5 million and is aimed at innovating a solution in the field of pyrotechnics.

The Centurium contest aims to encourage innovation in the UAE and upsurge the intellectual property rights.

The Agreement was signed at IDEX 2019 by Mohamed Al Qadi, Director General of the Sandooq Al Watan; Khamis al Hamarain, Board Member and Chairman of the Executive committee of APT, and Christian Ziehe, head of Innovation and Industrial Capabilities within Defense and Security Development Fund. In presence of Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari, Chief Executive and Head of Defense and Security Development Fund and Dr Yehya Al Marzouqi, Executive Director Strategy at Tawazun Economic Council, as well as representatives from each of the entities.

Commenting on the occasion, Mohamed Al Qadi, Director General of the Sandooq Al Watan, said that Centurium Challenge is a unique initiative that encourages innovation and contributes to the development of a knowledge-based economy in the UAE.

He added “We are delighted to work with our partners to launch the first UAE’s Centurium contest. We thank the Defense and Security Development Fund and APT for their important contribution and support to the local innovation ecosystem.”

Al Qadi announced the commencement of registration for researchers, scientists, innovators, and university students in the UAE who wish to participate in the contest.

Al Qadi indicated that Sandooq Al Watan will soon organize workshops and introductory seminars in various educational institutions, universities and research centers in the UAE, calling on creative people to participate in this contest.

Abdulla Naser Al Jaabari, Chief Officer and Head of the Defense and Security Development Fund Officer, said: “We are proud to work closely with Sandooq Al Watan and APT, on this initiative targeting to identifying talent and skills in the UAE. This contest invites researchers, specialists and university students to form teams to develop specialized solutions that will support the defense and security industry. Our aim from such a contest is to attract interest of young talent into this field.

Al Jaabari confirmed that the Defense and Security Development Fund will be the sole owner of the intellectual property in the technologies to be developed for this contest while APT will have the exclusive rights for the further development, production and sales of the IP created.

Khamis al Hamarain, Board Member and Chairman of the Executive committee of APT said: APT is delighted to have provided the technical concept for the challenge.  The challenge requires expert teams from different scientific backgrounds to cooperate and work closely with the industry. I am confident that this collaboration with Sondooq Al Watan and the  Defense and Security Development Fund will provide us with the ultimate solutions for our customer requirements.”

Commenting on the occasion, Christian Ziehe, Head of Innovation and Industrial Capabilities, said that the defense and security industries are actively seeking innovation and competitive solutions that can advance industrial capabilities.  Taking a part in stimulating the relationship between academia and industry is a role that we are proud to be playing.

Christian Ziehe stressed the importance of the contest in encouraging innovation and elevating capabilities. He pointed out that the first workshop will aim to develop technologies used in the field of pyrotechnics for defense and security applications, which will later be adopted by APT.

Once registration is complete, an expert jury will evaluate the registered teams on academic and technical bases to select three to five qualified teams. The qualified teams will be awarded an amount of AED 275,000 to start and run their projects for a period of two years. Finalists will be selected and the winning team will be awarded a price of USD 1M (AED 3.68 million) at the end of the contest.

The registration period will last for a period of 4 months effective the 20th of February. Participants can register starting next week through Sandooq Al Watan’s research website: http://www.researcher.ae/ .