The Ministry of Defence (MoD) and Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun) on 24th February, 2021, have signed an MoU to establish and organise Research and Development (R&D) planning and execution for the defence and security sectors.
The MoU was signed by Major-General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industries, Ministry of Defence and Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun Economic Council.
The parties have agreed to establish and organise R&D activities in various and targeted fields of defence, including dual-use applications. This is in order to ensure development of national defence capabilities that meet UAE Armed Forces operational requirements and evaluate them against the UAE’s defence and security goals and objectives.
Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defence Affairs, said that with this MoU the Ministry of Defence formally recognises an already existing close relationship, as it chooses Tawazun Economic Council as the “Strategic Partner” for all R&D activities related to defence and security.
Matar Salim Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defence, said that the MoD has an established relationship with Tawazun, and this is a step forward in furthering cooperation and partnership between the two parties.
He added that under the MoU the Ministry will be responsible for all defence policy making in relation to R&D, while Tawazun has an enhanced mandate and responsibility to manage the defence R&D programmes in the UAE.
Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun, said, “The Ministry of Defence and Tawazun have been working together to clearly define the roles of entities for R&D and Intellectual Property (IP) Management. Consequently, we have been shaping and developing an R&D strategy for the defence and security sectors, focusing on targeted specific areas of the ecosystem.”
“Based on our analysis of the existing ‘in country’ capabilities, the R&D portfolio will include a range of short and long-term projects from basic and applied research through to prototypes and product development to achieve our national objectives. The definition of the R&D projects will be aligned with the prioritised sectors in defence and security,” he added.
The signing of the MoU represents the foundation step for the creation of a structure whereby the two parties will work together with other government companies and universities to energise and accelerate the pace of R&D, building an environment that supports innovation and scientific discoveries, and creates partnerships amongst the scientific research and academic institutions and private sectors.