AUD and IBM launch Center of Excellence for Smarter Logistics

Under the patronage of Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Dec 08, 2014

Under the patronage of Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), the American University in Dubai (AUD) and IBM launched today the Center of Excellence for Smarter Logistics in Dubai, during a ceremony held in AUD campus.
The ceremony was attended by H.E. Robert Waller, Consul General of the United States of America in Dubai, Nasir Abbasi, Foreign Commercial Attache in the US Consulate in Dubai, Dr. Jihad Nader, Provost and Chief Academic Officer of AUD, Dr. Naguib Attia, CTO of IBM Middle East and Africa, in addition to officials from the government and private sectors, academics, and DEWA officials.
The Center of Excellence for Smarter Logistics brings together academicians and specialists in logistics from the government and private sectors. It works as a central point of convergence for logistics studies which promotes innovation. It also supports the Emirate’s efforts in its preparations to host Expo 2020.
"On behalf of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, it is my pleasure to congratulate the American University in Dubai for launching the Center of Excellence for Smarter Logistics in collaboration with IBM. This initiative supports the National Innovation Strategy, launched by Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world. It also enhances Dubai’s position as a global hub for trade, finance, tourism, knowledge, and green economy," said Al Tayer in his speech at the launch of the Center.
"At DEWA, we support such creative initiatives which help to achieve the National Agenda 2021 to make the UAE one of the best countries in the world by 2021, in line with our strategy to support innovation and creativity. DEWA also supports the Green Economy for Sustainable Development initiative, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to establish the foundations of sustainable development, by facilitating and supporting initiatives and programmes that save natural resources, which are the characteristics of the change towards a sustainable green economy."

"This Center is expected to play a key role in building and preparing creative specialists in logistics for the government and private sectors, in addition to creating a central point for logistics studies that promotes creativity and innovation, in preparation for hosting Expo 2020 in Dubai under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. The UAE has become a key link for trade, business, and services between the East and the West. Expo Dubai 2020 will show how our focus on high-efficiency systems for logistics and transport will contribute to creating relationships and partnerships that will uphold a set of values and objectives, the most important of which is celebrating creativity, innovation, and cultural diversity," added Al Tayer.
"In conclusion, I hope this Center will benefit everyone by preparing young people who will take the lead in the future. We look forward to creating promising opportunities for them that will contribute to achieving our common goals," he concluded.
At a meeting with Dr. Nader, Dr. Attia, and Waller, before launching the Center, Al Tayer noted that DEWA signed an MoU with IBM last October to enhance collaboration in smart grids, innovation centers, research and development, experience and industry-knowledge exchange, benchmarking, and organizing shared training programmes and activities to help achieve the common goal, which in turn, serve the public good.
"DEWA invests heavily in human resources. We have sent engineers to Arizona University in the in a training program to develop their capabilities in renewable energy," added Al Tayer.
In his welcome speech, Dr. Jihad Nader remarked, "The AUD/IBM Center of Excellence for Smarter Logistics is a major step forward that will bring more relevance to our academic programs. Students across different majors will have expanded opportunities to apply their critical thinking and research skills in a real-life environment, through internships that will become available with IBM and with other private and public sector organizations. Additionally, the Center will become a hub for joint research between AUD faculty and IBM researchers, on a wide range of logistics-related issues that are highly significant for economic and social development and for advancing the state of knowledge in this important field," said Dr. Nader.

"In line with the UAE National Innovation Strategy, our mission is to create a community-based center of business knowledge and innovation that serves as a regional think tank focusing on building smarter logistics for smarter cities," said Amr Refaat, General Manager, IBM Middle East and Pakistan. "IBM and AUD, together with industry and government partners will collaborate to innovate and deliver solutions for logistics-related challenges in the UAE and the region, and develop a sustainable knowledge workforce," added Mr. Refaat.

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