University engages with key partners at Gulf forum

6 May 2013

Participants at the joint forum in Dubai.
Participants at the joint forum in Dubai.

Sydney academics have held meetings with Middle East partners in Dubai to discuss joint projects in food and water security, robotics, renewable energy and women in leadership.

The discussions follow on from the University's Gulf Forum last September, when initial talks were held with visiting academics from the Middle East.

A University delegation visited Dubai recently, with representatives from the faculties of Engineering and IT, Agriculture and Environment, and the Business School taking part in a joint forum hosted by the UAE's National Research Foundation.

Dr Leanne Piggott, Chair of the University's Middle East Advisory Group, said: "The forum was an opportunity to showcase the research being done at Sydney in these areas, which are of strategic importance to the UAE and other Gulf countries.

"There is great potential for research collaboration and funding in the Gulf and I hope the result of the excellent presentations given by my colleagues will bear fruit over the coming months."

The Forum was hosted by the Director of the NRF, Dr Husam Al-Ulama, and the opening address by the Australian Ambassador to the UAE, HE Pablo Kang, stressed the importance of the growing ties between the UAE and Australia in research and education.

Other participants were from Masdar Institute, UAE University, the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Khalifa University, and the American University of Sharjah.

Topics for discussion included the development of a joint Centre of Women in Leadership, an energy storage lab and teaching programs in collaboration with University of Sharjah; a hydroponics project with ICBA; and the development of a course text designed for the Arab region on women in leadership.

The importance of industry involvement in research and teaching projects that address the needs of industry was highlighted by participants from both sides.

The organisation for the Forum was impeccably handled by the UAE NRF, Research Programme Manager, Dr Ahmed Alosi. The Forum was supported by Department of Foreign Affairs, Council of Australia-Arab Relations.

Contact: Richard North

Phone: 02 9351 3191

Email: 265b0e234e372343193c113909232b3e13182e205f242f1e17564d