UAE announces $1 million award for best robot invention

By admin Thursday, 12 February 2015 3:30 PM

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In a major announcement, the UAE government has revealed plans to reward innovations in artificial intelligence and robotics. Announcing a prize of $1 million for the best innovators, the government is inviting individuals, companies and students to participate in the award.

“Innovation is the future. Either you innovate or disappear eventually. Wherever we are today, it is because of innovation. It is part of a larger nation-wide strategy. This is the future and we are moving quite fast. It is not a choice but a must,” said Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.

The UAE Robots and Artificial Intelligence for Good Award will invite applicants to submit entries in two categories – local and international. Inventions can aim at improvements in education, healthcare and social services.

“We have to realise that last year we announced the Drones for Good Award and a lot of people thought why we are announcing it. One year later, it is the largest drone competition in the world with 800 participants from 57 countries, 800 participants in it,” explained Gergawi.

Building on the success of the Drones for Good Award, the new competition will encourage people to explore robotics and its use for improving human life.

“The award will complement the national innovation strategy. We want to invite innovators, creators and inventors from all walks of life to participate in the award which will be open to both individuals and businesses,” explained Gergawi.

Collaborating with leading robotics experts, further announcements are expected to provide more clarity on the rules and regulations.

“This award has a power to inspire people around the world. For our generation, the most important technology will be presented in robotics and artificial intelligence,” said Erik Brynjolfsson, Director of the MIT Centre for Digital Business.

A website featuring details of the award and categories will be launched next week.