School:Khalifa University of Science and Technology
Khalifa University of Science and Technology is the outcome of three incredible engineering-based universities. The Petroleum Institute University and Research Center, Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, and Khalifa University of Science, Technology, and Research. In October 2019, Khalifa University ranked first in the UAE, second in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, and among the top 200 globally in the Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2020 by Subject: Engineering and Technology. This owing is due to the extensive engineering and medical courses the university has to offer, in addition to the UAE’s leading research centers where challenges are addressed in a systematic manner following innovative methods prospering from focus groups of a team-based culture.
Promoting student innovation and entrepreneurship
In order to create a community of collectiveness, Khalifa University offers courses that revolve around innovation and entrepreneurship where students are expected to rely on one another and work as a team to obtain the mindset of an entrepreneur or an “outside- of – the – box” intellectual.
In addition, there are courses that follow the GeoScience major which target exploration and discovery; the basis of every great idea. Several other courses that revolve around the innovative process comes into play. For example hands-on lab experiments for all engineering majors, from constructing circuits to handling chemicals as well as the Freshmen Engineering Design course for the early high school graduates to incorporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the ecosystem from day one.
Khalifa University is in partnership with humanitarian programs that allow students to intern globally. This partnership is through establishments like Jusoor and Khayarat. The program incredibly highlights where innovation and entrepreneurship meet humanity and welfare. Promoting I&E also takes place through competitions like the EBTIC hothouse competition which improves the entrepreneurial skills of the students as well as leadership and teamwork skills. Students also explore their potentials by working in teams in the Student Chapters such as IEEE, AIAA & ASME which organize events every now and then such as familiarization events about majors for the new students.
Similarly, the university offers centers and clubs that help develop ideas into actions. The Khalifa University Innovation Center is one of them. The center aims to turn patents into start-ups. It helps young innovators financially and supports them technically.
Constant encouragement is vital for an environment full of young entrepreneurs such as our university and that is achieved through the president’s memo which is sent each month to all students and faculty talking about all different kinds of achievements and events of everybody in the campus. It is worth mentioning also that our dear graduates are not forgotten about for sure. Through the alumni office, where the officers are past KU graduates, the university makes sure to stay in touch with the graduates and provide a point of contact between former students and the university through social and professional networking.
In KU, outstanding events organized by students (through clubs), to students take place very frequently. Inspirational talks are given by students through KU Talk event, Open Mic night event, and the famous film festival event where students successfully deliver a message every year through films that they made from scratch that is being conducted virtually due to the pandemic condition.
Encouraging faculty innovation and entrepreneurship
Overall, Khalifa university in collaboration with various entities provides fundings for the community to grow and support faculty who have unique and innovative research ideas. These ideas can be technological solutions, products, services, or processes. In all departments of Khalifa University, commercializing research is very important. What differentiates KU’s Innovation and Entrepreneurship ecosystem is its commitment to showing how research and education constitute value for the entire society of the UAE.
The extent to which faculty encourage students to explore their innovative and entrepreneurial potentials varies from one individual to another. Innovation and Entrepreneurship are facilitated within the campus by faculty who adopt entrepreneurial thinking to draw opportunities, innovation, and value creation in higher education and as a result, target the students and inspire them to achieve more in society and become long life-learners. Although finding such faculty can be challenging sometimes, pathways to youth entrepreneurship still can be found by inspiring and encouraging faculty.
Actively supporting the university technology transfer function
The Office of Technology Management and Innovation is responsible for protection, management and commercialization of Khalifa University research discoveries. It works closely with faculty and researchers in the university to translate their inventions into viable business opportunities and commercial products through the formation of startups and/or technology licensing to industry partners. The office supports the research-driven innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in the University to actively contribute to UAE economic development and diversification.
Facilitating university-industry collaboration
The channel between academia and industry is established in KU in many ways, especially that after the merging of the three universities (Petroleum institute, Masdar Institute, and Khalifa University) the resources available now are way more than the ones available 2-3 years ago.
Khalifa University is home to the UAE’s leading research institutes and centers, where challenges of relevance to the region and world are addressed in a systematic and targeted manner by innovative researchers working together in world-class facilities. These research clusters will create the foundation for the University to become a global leader in use-inspired research. The University’s two major institutes are the Masdar Institute, under which primarily sustainability-focused research centers are grouped, and the Petroleum Institute, under which primarily hydrocarbon production and exploration focused research centers are grouped.
Engaging with regional and local economic development efforts
Hoping to capitalize on the rise in intellectual property creation in the UAE, Khalifa University partnered with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Tawazun Economic Council, Mubadala Development Company, and Sandooq Al Watan announced a total of 24 participants representing 8 startups joined the Virtual Innovation-Based Entrepreneurship Bootcamp that aims at developing technical innovation in these startups and put it into commercial context for further discussions towards potential funding. Hence, KU with its three campuses shows lots of engagement in the regional and economic growth of UAE.
In addition to that, the university also ensures local economic benefit through Internships and career fairs.
- Local Internship
In order to develop hands-on skills and give a brief idea about various industries for graduating students, they are encouraged to apply to companies through various resources such as simplicity, an online platform for internship opportunities or Jusoor program, a program which exposes youth to well know private sector companies. This help educate students on local existing companies, work environment, and possible positions they can apply to.
- External Internships
Students looking to be exposed to global technological platforms and learn to implement solutions, can apply to various locations such as Germany (Siemens) and UTRIP (University of Tokyo Research Internship Program) in order to gain insights and develop new skills as well as broaden their communication spectrum
- Career Fair
The annually KU Career Fair is an annual event that serves to link students with companies, to bridge the gap from university to employer. Proactive companies and organizations offer talks, presentations, and sessions around topics of relevance to upcoming graduates. The event provides an opportunity for students to identify suitable placements for future internships and raise their awareness about various career opportunities in today’s competitive job market while enhancing companies Emiratization efforts by giving them access to top-class Emirati students, as well as non-Emirati students