The past two years have proven that for humanity to prosper, it is imperative to embrace the new reality, with the latest communications and advanced technology powering everything around us: with people, with our devices, and even between devices. Technology has changed our lives as we know them – enabling us to easily access information. The UAE is adopting this new frontier of technology at a frenetic pace – rapidly establishing itself as a technology hub, in addition to being a provider of global energy. The country has a goal of becoming a global leader in technology and innovation as part of its strategy for the next 50 years. Technology will power the UAE’s strategic growth sectors, from healthcare to renewable energy. With this strong commitment, the UAE has effectively shown how technology can influence and reshape our daily lives. Over the next 50 years, the country is preparing to advance into the post-oil era by diversifying into a knowledge and sustainable innovation-driven economy, developing an industrial sector underpinned by the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) technologies.
Shaping tomorrow’s success today
Innovation seldom takes place in isolation. In the UAE, the 4IR relies on an array of new technologies, including AI, internet of things, cloud computing, blockchain, and 5G to transform the way industries, governments, and societies function. Technology, empowered by collaboration between individuals, teams and groups, is the perfect recipe for success. As a disruptor in tech solutions, the UAE is set to become a world-leading center for future industries. From transport to finance, food, energy, healthcare, and education, 4IR technologies will integrate multifaceted communications through digitization. With all its sustained initiatives, the UAE is well positioned to ride a surging technology wave, thanks to its future-readiness as it mobilizes collaborative investments in technology infrastructure and research, builds workforce skills, and develops ethical frameworks and guidelines for industry 4.0 technologies.
Fighting challenges with technology
This collaboration sits at the heart of ASPIRE, the program management and business development pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council and the architect of the MBZIRC Maritime Grand Challenge, being held in UAE’s capital, Abu Dhabi, in 2023. The challenge’s goal is to develop a system-of-systems to solve complex maritime challenges, such as smuggling, piracy, and illegal fishing. The competition, which will focus on a relatively unexplored territory in autonomous robotics, will involve a heterogeneous collaboration of unmanned aerial and surface vehicles, requiring them to perform complex navigation and manipulation tasks in a GNSS-denied maritime environment.
In line with UAE’s vision to becoming the preferred global technology hub, the challenge is the perfect platform to push technological boundaries to enable unmanned systems, in dynamic, unstructured environments, to achieve breakthrough solutions in the advanced technology space and reinforce and catapult the UAE’s capabilities on a global scale. This challenge will play a pivotal role in helping the world find solutions to some of its most pressing maritime challenges by developing breakthrough solutions that yield transformative impact for years to come.