.E. Sultan Bin Saeed Al Mansouri, UAE Minister of Economy, and Chairman of the Award Panel of Judges, Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, stated that the UAE is seeking to transform into an innovation economy by adopting best global organisational practices for the emirate to become a centre of creativity and innovation in the world.
Speaking at the opening of the International Conference for the launch of the 9th cycle of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award 2015 along with the 1st cycle of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award 2015 at the Hyatt Regency Creek Heights in Dubai on Tuesday, H.E. Al Mansouri further stressed that innovation excellence is key to our quest and is leading our movement towards a knowledge economy. “Nurturing an ecosystem for innovation, excellence and value creation, the GCC region, in its entirety, will gain much from this transformation to innovation economy,” he said.
“Over the years, the award has adopted the latest global institutional excellence practices and inspired the business community to adopt best organisational practices, and the concepts of innovation and excellence,” said H.E. Al Mansouri adding that Dubai Chamber has played a pivotal role in enhancing the competitiveness of the business community while raising awareness about responsible business practices.
He further stressed that during its 8th cycle, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award has seen a 12.5% rise in the number of participating companies compared to its previous cycle thus bringing the total number to 1,200 companies, which clearly reflects the reputation of the award as a major tool for measuring excellence and institutional performance in the country and the region.
“The economic growth witnessed by the country wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the private sector, and the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award encourages these companies to be innovative and creative in all their business practices and activities,” said H.E. Al Mansouri.
He called upon UAE companies to apply global best institutional excellence practices in their everyday business activities and contribute towards enhancing the competitiveness of the national economy by enriching the country’s reputation as an outstanding destination for foreign investments while also bringing good name to the company.
In his welcome address, H.E. Hamad Buamim, President and CEO, Dubai Chamber, and Chairman of the Steering Committee of the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award, said that the award has led the march of excellence and innovation in the Gulf business communities, adding that the prestigious award which during its eight previous cycles has honoured 129 companies, has instilled a culture of excellence and innovation among the private sector companies in the UAE.
Expressing his happiness in launching the ninth session of the award on the occasion of the UAE Innovation Week, H.E. Buamim pointed out that the award is open to companies of different types and sizes across all economic sectors in the UAE and the GCC region as they can also participate in the new Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Innovation Award launched by the Ministry of Economy in cooperation with Dubai Chamber in this Year of Innovation to encourage national companies and organisations to adopt innovation in their operations and services and to enhance the country’s stature in global competitiveness reports that rates international businesses for ease of doing business.
The President and CEO of Dubai Chamber further stressed that the award is one of its kind honour to stimulate innovation in companies in the UAE and the GCC region while encouraging them to adopt innovation for success in their organisations as well as to enhance their competitiveness and reputation in the business world. He also invited companies to participate in both the awards.
H.E. Buamim also informed about the Chamber’s launching of the results of the Dubai Innovation Index on Monday which revealed that Dubai occupies a higher rank than some of the world’s leading innovation-driven cities like Shanghai, Beijing, Madrid, Istanbul, Moscow, Milan, Sao Paulo and Mumbai.
According to the survey, Dubai ranked 16th out of the 28 peer global cities which are currently considered the most prominent players in the field of innovation and creativity registering an innovation rate of 39.14% while Dubai progressed to 11th place in the world for its efficiency in innovation outputs.
Organised under the theme “The Innovation Economy: Nurturing an Ecosystem for Innovation, Excellence, and Value Creation,” the International Conference addressed the fundamentals of developing a sustainable innovation-based ecosystem in line with the UAE Vision 2021 to move towards a more innovation-driven knowledge economy.
Speaking on various innovation and excellence topics were internationally renowned business excellence, technology, and innovation experts, as well as policy makers, including amongst others, Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert, Former Lead Specialist at The World Bank and Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Founder and President, SIGN Institute France, Jonathan Oliver, Global Head of Innovation, Microsoft.
Also speaking were Tristan Kromer, a well-known Entrepreneur, Lean Start-up Coach, and Innovation Ecosystem Designer from Silicon Valley, US, Sunil Sinha, Resident Director, Tata Sons MENA, Khalid Al Khudair, Young Global Leader at World Economic Forum, Founder and CEO, Glowork, KSA, Prof. Ir. Kas Oosterhuis, Creative Director, VAA.ONL, and Innovation Studio Professor, Hyperbody TU Delft, The Netherlands, and Ms. Susan Chong, CEO, Greenpac, Singapore Quality Award Winner 2014, Singapore.
In his talk on “Driving Economic Growth Through Innovation: Drivers and Challenges”, Dr. Jean-Eric Aubert, stressed on trends, challenges and issues faced by the global community in the areas of economic, environmental, demographic, geopolitical and other nature as they required unprecedented innovation efforts at all levels to overcome these challenges. The governments are the gardeners who have to do the groundwork for the growth of innovation, he said.
Khalid Al Khudair, in his presentation on Beating the Odds: Turning uncertainty into breakthrough opportunities, spoke about business failure and how this can be connected to innovation to succeed in the marketplace. The obstacles you face can be looked upon as opportunities as these experiences will help you to innovate and get back on the track, he said.
Mr. Tristan Kromer who spoke on “The Lean Startup Approach: Reducing the Cost of Innovation and Building a Startup Ecosystem” said that innovation can save or kill your company, as he stressed on how modern companies are measuring innovation and increasing the speed at which they test market demand of disruptive technologies.
Jonathan Oliver, in his presentation on “Why Innovation is Wrong and Companies Don’t Want It” explored why innovation has to be wrong in order to be proved right. How business’s need create an environment in which innovation can flourish and why Microsoft has radically transformed itself to become an innovation powerhouse of the future.
In her talk on “Quest for Innovation: The Sustainable Path to a Competitive Advantage” Ms. Susan Chong called upon businesses to see the possibilities and seize opportunities and be a game changer to fundamentally shift the way things are done through innovation. It is a key leadership mindset in leading to the sustainable pathway to a competitive advantage.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Business Award was initiated in 2005 under the patronage of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to recognise and celebrate the success of organisations that contribute to the sustainable economic development of the UAE and the greater GCC region.
The Award Program, which advocates the improvement of business strategies, processes and overall performance, has been the fundamental structure of Dubai Chamber’s quest to foster excellence and innovation within its business community and that of the entire GCC region.