UAE Cabinet reviews R&D, food security achievements

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The Cabinet reviewed the achievements report of the Emirates Research and Development Council for the year 2023…reports Asian Lite News

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, chaired the UAE Cabinet meeting at Qasr Al Watan, Abu Dhabi, in the presence of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court; and H.H. Lt. General Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior.

His Highness said, “Today during the meeting, we reviewed a report on the achievements of the Emirates Council for Food Security in 2023, which included increasing the reserve of strategic food products in the UAE by 85 percent in 2023, raising the grain storage capacity in the country by 34 percent, providing an emergency storage capacity of hundreds of thousands of tons, and the signing of several international partnership agreements on food systems and sustainable agriculture. Our target is to sustainably ensure our food security, at all times, under any circumstances.”

His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum added, “Today, we also reviewed the achievements report of the Emirates Research and Development Council for the year 2023, approved our national priorities for research and development, approved a set of global challenges programmes to finance research and development, notably research related to water desalination, and approved the development of a comprehensive strategy for intellectual property in this sector”

His Highness added, “Today, during the Cabinet meeting, we approved hosting several specialised international conferences and events, and reviewed the performance results of the Emirates Investment Authority and the financial results of the General Pensions and Social Security Authority.

During the meeting, the Cabinet reviewed the achievements report of the Emirates Research and Development Council for the year 2023. Main projects and initiatives implemented by the Council included: launching the development of a national framework for research and development performance data, approval of the Policy of the National Priorities for Research and Development, as well as conducting several studies on attracting research and development centres, creating the optimal environment for attracting and retaining research and development talent, developing an intellectual property strategy related to research and development, and updating intellectual property requirements in this regard.

The projects implemented by the Emirates Research and Development Council in 2023 also included the launch of the Global Challenges Programme to finance research and development to address the priorities and challenges related to water desalination, and the launch of the National Program for Research and Development Leaders, a pioneering programme specialised in research and development management, in addition to updating several national policies that support the UAE’s efforts in the matter.

During the meeting, the Cabinet reviewed the achievements of the Emirates Council for Food Security during 2023, and the national effort made to ensure that food is safely and sustainably available in the country at all times. Most prominent achievements included launching the UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action, which was joined by 159 signatory countries, the development of a national programme to closely monitor the growth of children younger than 5 years old and enhance their health, improving mechanisms for taking essential growth measurements, analysing data, raising parents’ awareness, and training professionals to successfully implement the programme.

Achievements include also increasing the percentage purchased by government entities involved in the selected locally produced main food types to 59.2 percent through the “Enhancing the Sustainability of National Farms” initiative, increasing the number of beneficiary farms to 1,260 farms in the UAE, and raising the reserve of strategic food products by 85 percent in 2023, increasing the total grain storage capacity in the country by 34 percent. The Emirates Council for Food Security also developed in 2023 a unified guideline for food and beverages aimed at improving the quality of food and beverages provided at schools.

The achievements of the Emirates Council for Food Security during the year 2023 also included launching the Food Innovation Hubs Global Initiative and accelerating the use of technology and innovation in transforming food systems through signing an agreement between the “Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Global Initiatives” foundation and the World Economic Forum, and signing a memorandum of understanding with the Emirates Development Bank (EDB) regarding the programme on financing the introduction of technology in agricultural (AgriTech) into traditional farms, with a total funding pool of AED100 million, and announcing the expansion of the electricity tariff support in the northern regions of the UAE, to include all farm owners covered by the Emirates Water and Electricity Company.

The Cabinet also examined the preliminary results of the UAE committee tasked with assessing damage from floods and rain on federal establishments and facilities. The Cabinet approved implementing urgent maintenance work within health facilities affiliated with the Emirates Health Services – UAE, in all affected areas in the country.

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