The Education Ministry of United Arab Emirates (UAE) has partnered with German technology company Siemens to grant software licenses valued around 100 million euros ($116 million) for five universities in the country.
During a signing ceremony in Abu Dhabi, the license was handed over to the universities in presence of UAE’s Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills Dr Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasiv and Joe Kaeser, president and CEO of Siemens AG.
The partnership between the ministry and Siemens comes on the back of the signing of a memorandum of understanding between both parties last year. The grant seeks to advance digital skills in the country to support its economic diversification goals, underscoring Siemens’ contribution to the Year of Giving in 2017.
“As the UAE transitions to a competitive, knowledge economy, building the skills of the future among UAE nationals is a top priority. The software grant from Siemens is a significant contribution to enhancing local digital skills, as they become increasingly essential for the development of this country and the jobs of tomorrow,” said Dr Al Falasi.
“We extend our gratitude to Siemens, a trusted private sector partner of the Ministry of Education, for their generosity and commitment during the Year of Giving,” he added.
The ministry has selected UAE University, Zayed University, Higher Colleges of Technology, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, and Rochester Institute of Technology for license of the softwre. To illustrate, how universities would use the company’s Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) software, the ministry has made an open call for submissions of compelling ideas.
The software can be used for academic and institutional purposes by students as well as by faculty members at these universities. The software will also be used for inculcating the required skills to drive the country’s digital transformation.
“During the Year of Giving in the UAE, private companies are inspired to engage in activities that reflect the spirit of generosity and bring benefits to the community. We believe this is a natural desire; to give back to society and support the country’s long-term aspirations for a sustainable knowledge economy,” said Kaeser.
“Siemens’ software grant will stimulate research activity among higher education institutions, encourage talent development among UAE nationals in digitalization and innovation, and support alignment between academia and industry,” he further said.