Abu Dhabi pledges $1.52bn for R&D on food security

The Abu Dhabi Executive office has also signed an agreement with the XPrize Founadtion to bolster Abu Dhabi's R&D efforts
Abu Dhabi pledges $1.52bn for R&D on food security
Sheikh Mohamed said that the government has “directed the executive committee to form global partnerships that seek innovative solutions in these vital areas.”
By Bernd Debusmann Jr
Tue 26 Mar 2019 11:22 AM

Abu Dhabi has pledged AED 5.6 billion ($1.52 billion) to support research and development revolving around water scarcity and food security, Crown Prince Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan announced on Monday.

In a tweet, Sheikh Mohamed said that the government has “directed the executive committee to form global partnerships that seek innovative solutions in these vital areas.”

On Monday, the Abu Dhabi Executive Office and a global competition, the XPrize Foundation, signed a partnership to bolster Abu Dhabi’s R&D over the coming years.

The plans call for two or three XPrize competitions to be held each year, with registration expected to open in the second half of the year. Competition standouts will also be offered an opportunity to work on their projects at Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s new hub for tech start-ups launched earlier this week.

AED 300 million ($81.68 million) has been earmarked from the funds of the Ghadan 21 government reform initiative to sponsor local XPrize competitions.

The Ghadan – or Tomorrow 2021 – plan includes a number of reforms and a AED 50 billion ($13.61 billion) stimulus to diversify Abu Dhabi’s economy and boost economic growth.

Food security has been identified as a priority by the UAE’s government. Last year, UAE Minister of State for Food Security Mariam Al Mehairi said that it is “one of the biggest challenges we will face in the future”.

To address the issue, the UAE – which imports approximately 90 percent of its food – hopes to boost local food production by 40 percent.

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