DUBAI, During a meeting chaired by Sarah bint Yousif Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Sciences, the Emirates Scientists Council discussed the UAE's accomplishments in the sciences for the year 2019, its plans for the year '2020: Towards the Next 50', and its initiatives to support national scientific studies and research.

Al Amiri noted that the council will work during '2020: Towards the Next 50', as declared by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to harmonise federal and local draft laws related to scientific research and reinforce the country's science and technology sector.

She added that the council will support the country's efforts to attract specialist talent, introduce new categories to the UAE Golden Visa, and discover new areas of scientific research, through identifying the country's scientific research priorities in line with the UAE Centennial 2071.

The council also discussed the organisation of a multi-specialist research conference, which was one of the outcomes of the annual meeting of the Mohammed bin Rashid Academy of Scientists. It also discussed a set of federal and local laws on integrating scientific research, which cover medical and behavioural research ethics.

Council members also mulled over the country's genomics programmes and the importance of strengthening federal, local, academic and private sector efforts to establish a safe and unified genetic reference for the general population.

It also discussed the importance of international cooperation and exchanging research data, explored federal laws that affect research conduct and knowledge exchange, and examined ways of supporting the country's efforts to create a diverse knowledge-based economy, through supporting productive knowledge-based foundations, creating an effective research environment and advancing higher education.

The participants addressed scientific research challenges faced by universities and ways of reorganising their priorities, by focussing on marketable areas that fulfil the needs of the country, establishing a national science base that will reinforce the country's capacities to generate knowledge, and strengthening the country's international research and development competitiveness.

The council reviewed the list of candidates for the last phase of the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Distinguishment and discussed the establishment of a committee comprising Sarah Al Amiri, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Director and Executive Vice President of Khalifa University, and Dr. Ghaleb Al Hadrami, Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at the United Arab Emirates University.

Source: Emirates News Agency