The Ministry of Education (MoE) will launch the 4th edition of the National Science, Technology and Innovation (NSTI) Festival 2020 on February 4th. In Dubai festival Arena The festival, which will continue through February 8 concurrently with the UAE Innovation Month, will feature a global conference, a student retreat, a science fair and an innovation lab and will showcase the latest innovations of students together with the family festival and other purposeful activities.
The festival is attracting a growing attention based on the fact that it presents innovative programs and reviews student projects that simulate future orientations related to scientific fields devoted by the MoE for students to raise their awareness and improve their skills. As part of these orientations, students will be provided with the latest knowledge related to such fields as artificial intelligence (AI), advanced technology that serves the environment and public health and other vital cognitive and scientific fields.
The NSTI Festival, whose previous edition targeted more than 21,000 participants and visitors, contributes substantially to bringing innovation and leadership in the UAE to higher levels and is aimed at making a qualitative leap in the national innovation system. The NSTI Festival also conforms to the policies and directives that support innovation and prompt the achievement of the UAE’s ambition in scientific research, science and technology areas for the UAE to be on par with the world’s most innovative countries with advanced expertise, resources and infrastructure.
“The NSTI Festival stems from a sustainable educational vision derived from the UAE’s vision and innovative approach and the wise leadership’s aspirations for the UAE to be among the leading countries in the field of innovation. This event is attracting a growing interest as it has become a unique educational platform that combines the innovation industry and related updates on one hand and the modern practices in this vital field on the other through a set of selected activities,” H.E. Hussain Bin Ibrahim Al Hammadi, Minister of Education, said.
The MoE is keeping students abreast of all accelerated developments in the scientific fields, which the UAE depends on to maintain its sustainable development and lead in all fields, he said. The NSTI Festival draws the most prominent national plans and strategies related to innovation and creativity and translates them on the ground through inspirational student projects reflecting students’ ideas and efforts in many areas related to the society, environment and sustainability, he added.
Al Hammadi pointed out that the NSTI Festival became the focus of attention of all the UAE’s vital government and private sectors. This is because it provides students and decision-makers with an opportunity to exchange knowledge and develop and support ideas for the ultimate goal of motivating students to tackle with more leadership, creativity and excellence issues, which would enrich their academic career and reflect positively on their future careers, he added.
Meanwhile, H.E. Jameela Bint Salem Al Muhairi, Minister of State for Public Education, affirmed that the NSTI Festival turned into a prospective annual event that students, families and interested people wait impatiently for. This is because the NSTI Festival became a creative window to the future, a way for students to realize their aspirations and future hopes and a significant milestone in their academic career, which is hoped to be full of innovation and excellence at all levels, she added.
The NSTI Festival became an important and innovation-stimulating tool and a source of information related to the latest updates of science, knowledge and technology, she said, noting that it serves as an integrated and comprehensive park that annually attracts students, families and elite groups of professionals and leaders who meet in one place in a participatory and interactive atmosphere. This should help the UAE transform into an innovative Emirati community, particularly that the NSTI Festival has divers goals and outcomes by virtue of utilizing capabilities to provide supportive templates of business and programs that are new to visitors, she added.
“This event has turned into an comprehensive platform for great minds to discuss how to develop and update the ideas of our students and help them achieve their goals derived from our national priorities and future plans that bet on our future generations to maintain the gains of our country and add more successes and accomplishments to our country’s record and hence achieve and meet the aspirations of our wise leadership,” she said.
Meanwhile, H.E. Dr. Ahmad Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Higher Education and Advanced Skills, affirmed that the NSTI Festival 2020 is an educational event that has a promising future vision and coincides with the UAE Innovation Month. Through this event, the MoE seeks to develop its educational philosophy as embodied in building generations with entrepreneurial thinking that serve their country with creative products, he said, noting that the MoE’s vision is based on building innovative and educated generations and that this festival is one of its cognitive tools that offer a lot to the society in general and students in particular.
Al Falasi stated that the education system of the UAE is constantly evolving and is in line with the agenda and vision of the UAE, the determinants of its progress and the wise leadership’s aspirations for future successes based on educated, skilled, creative, innovative and proficient human resources. Setting up the best educational patterns and innovation-based practices and providing a stimulating environment constitute a starting point for achieving the MoE’s goals, he added, noting that this is seen nowadays in the current education policies, which seek to consolidate innovation with a view to building generations that contribute to the sustainability of their homeland and document the frameworks that support the transformation into a sustainable, knowledge-based economy.
For her part, H.E. Dr. Amna Al Dahak Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary for Care and Activities Sector, stated that the NSTI Festival features several main sections, the most important of which is the Science Fair (Emirates Young Scientist Competition), which provides a platform for public education students to display the scientific research results of their innovative projects.
It also features a world-class Conference, which attracts an elite group of prominent speakers at the local and global levels; an Innovation Lab, which includes specialized workshops offered by a group of government and private establishments; a Student Retreat, which is concerned this year with discovering and supporting entrepreneurs during their study; a Family Festival, which provides an ideal platform to enhance community participation and familiarize the public with the importance of science, technology, engineering and mathematics in a wonderful fun and interactive family environment, she added, noting that the NSTI Festival would host an elite group of artists and innovators in several contemporary fields in addition to the ‘Little Innovators Challenge’ competition.
The NSTI Festival is in line with the national policies and strategies aimed at bringing UAE innovation and entrepreneurship to higher levels, taking the Science, Technology and Innovation Policy, National Innovation Strategy, Advanced Skills Strategy, UAE National Agenda, UAE Vision 2021 and UAE Centennial Plan 2071 as the main pillars of its mechanism of work to achieve the desired goal and familiarize students with the future national trends that made qualified human resource one of its most important starting points and targets during the coming stage, she said.
“The Emirates Young Scientist Competition attracted 2,472 projects submitted by 5,791 male and female students from 427 government and private schools. The competition, which simulates multiple fields, these being technology, biological sciences, environment, chemistry, physics, mathematics, social and behavioral sciences, enables students to participate later in specialized festivals and scientific events worldwide, each as per his/her field of study and project in the competition,” she said.
Al Shamsi pointed out that the NSTI Festival’s Student Retreat would see the participation of an elite group of students, officials and decision-makers from the government and private sector. This year’s retreat would focus on discovering and supporting entrepreneurs during their study, she said, adding that the students would discuss several scientific mechanisms that would enable the concerned authorities to discover students with good entrepreneurship skills and launch effective initiatives to create a school environment that embraces and stimulates entrepreneurship.
The NSTI Festival would also feature a scientific conference, which is regarded as a vital platform for exchanging ideas, sharing experiences and reviewing success stories, she said. The conference would provide an opportunity to inspire and motivate students by a selection of UAE ministers, Emirati dignitaries and international speakers, who would highlight various topics on the conference agenda, she added, noting that the scientific conference would be held in the first three days of the NSTI Festival.