His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum:
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, commended today talented Emirati youth and the determination of the UAE society for the nation’s optimistic and positive outlook for the near future which will focus on designing integrated and future-oriented strategies, anticipating changes and ensuring readiness to achieve tangible leaps in major sectors.
His Highness, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s message, followed his inauguration of the Dubai Future Labs (DFL), a platform that is designed to be the first applied Research and Development lab specializing in future technology research, prototyping, business modeling and deploying technological solutions in the UAE and the region.
As a platform that attracts national and international experts to AREA 2071 in Dubai Future District, DFL not only focuses on research and development but ensures the successful transition of deployment and technology solutions in a real-world setting, benefiting industries and societies as a whole. Furthermore, by exploring global technology trends, practices, and state-of-the-art emerging technology applications, Dubai Future Labs acts as a collaborative bridge between academic research, industry, and key actors in the fields of technology to provide novel insights and means of implementation.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum was accompanied by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Deputy Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation, and His Excellency Khalfan Juma Belhoul, CEO of the Dubai Future Foundation.
On his official Twitter account, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum tweeted: “Today, we have launched Dubai Future Labs as part of our belief in the importance of investing in the applied R&D sector in Dubai and the UAE… the labs specialized in future tech R&D will build national capacities and shape solutions in Fourth Industrial Revolution sectors such as robotics, AI, and automation.”
His Highness added that DFL would provide a global destination to develop latest applied research and technologies, enhance the culture of innovation, and address the demands of local markets to boost Dubai’s and the UAE’s position through leveraging expertise in diverse domains to create applied research and product development frameworks, design and produce prototypes, as well as to conduct feasibility studies with regard to their widespread implementation.
Under the supervision of the Dubai Future Foundation, the Dubai Future Labs aims to strengthen the status of Dubai and the UAE as a knowledge-based economy through forging partnerships with global R&D institutions to shape new markets and create job opportunities. In addition, DFL is mandated to bridge the gap and connect industries and relevant stakeholders through facilitating technology transfer.
During his visit, the DFL technical team briefed His Highness on two innovative projects that are currently under development. The projects included DFL’s recent successes in building ventilator models to meet the shortfall in the local health sector during COVID-19, M061, and the first commercial drones and autonomous ground vehicles it deployed in the logistics sector.
His Highness directed the DFL team to work closely with relevant innovation labs, specialized institutions, national and international universities, and with the private sector across the UAE and beyond to develop cutting-edge tech to accelerate the implementation and deployment of technological solutions that will contribute to overcoming future challenges.
“AutoX” Project for self-driving Vehicles
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also viewed an innovative project in the AI and autonomous vehicles sector that is currently being developed in cooperation between the UAE AI Office and the Dubai Future Labs, and “AutoX”; a global company specialized in developing the future technologies of transportation, and employing AI in this vital sector to develop new solutions to increase reliance on self-driving vehicles in the future.
The project team is working closely with the relevant legislative entities in the country to ensure adherence to the highest standards of safety and security, to position the UAE as the leader in developing legislations, accelerating the adoption of modern technologies, and encouraging innovative ideas.
Utilizing Technology in Last Mile Logistics’ Solutions
The DFL team is currently engaged in an innovative project that leverages drone technology, autonomous ground vehicles, and the latest shipping and storage solutions in the delivery services sector. The growing reliance on online shopping, as well as the social distancing measures in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, have led to a surge in demand for fast and efficient delivery services.
Phase one of this project includes building a prototype of the product, defining the customer requirements for deliveries, reviewing the regulatory frameworks for aerial traffic, as well as define the technical specifications for the delivery ecosystem for drones. It also involves real-life testing of drone delivery in a semi-controlled environment, a review of other autonomous delivery options, and collection of data necessary to transition to the next stage that focuses on building the technical development of commercially scalable solutions. In implementing the project to find broader solutions and applications for UAV technology and autonomous driving, the team hopes to achieve a preferred and cost-effective solution to delivering products in the UAE.
The DFL team will conduct experimental tours to collect data on the take-off, delivery, and movement processes. It will also utilize client feedback and evaluations of the pilot stage and analyze this information to generate ideas on providing best-in-class future services and applications that comply with the highest safety standards.
The M061 Project for Ventilators
The M061 project team continues to develop ventilators that mainly rely on components available in the current supply chains, and that can be easily sourced, assembled, and deployed as needed, with a focus on durability and efficiency. The team has used the available basic resources and easily accessible interchangeable components to facilitate the task of physicians and healthcare workers in the current scenario, where medical equipment and components are increasingly scarce globally.
The crucial healthcare project is a partnership venture between Dubai Future Foundation, the Office of the Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Dubai COVID-19 Command and Control Centre, Ministry of Health and Prevention, Dubai Health Authority, Mohammed Bin Rashid University of Medicine and Health Sciences, as well as government agencies, research centers, international institutions, and startups.
The project team plans to execute a rigorous testing cycle in collaboration with respiratory specialists and clinicians in Dubai’s hospitals to ensure that the ventilator system complies with established standards and meets international requirements. Trials will be conducted on patients once testing has been carried out to ensure safe deployment.