Sharjah plans to establish a Centre of Excellence for Digital Government in the American University of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) Park. The news was revealed during a meeting between His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah and visiting SAP CEO Bill McDermott on Tuesday. The RTI Park development was recently announced by the university’s new investment arm, AUS Enterprises.
According to the SAP chief, the establishment of the Centre of Excellence for Digital Government has the potential to accelerate Sharjah’s digital economy, by helping to foster innovation and bring together government departments with the private sector, university academics and global technologists. McDermott also expressed SAP’s interest in collaborating on the development of the new centre of excellence.
AUS Enterprises, a new holding company established by Amiri decree to develop projects for the American University of Sharjah (AUS), announced plans for the AUS RTI Park at a Sharjah investors’ day in London last month. The first phase of the RTI Park is expected to be completed in 2018 and will accommodate up to 200 companies.
Plans for the new centre for digital government fall in line with UAE Vision 2021, a national development strategy which aims to turn innovation, research, science and technology into pillars of the national economy. Sharjah has announced a raft of new initiatives during the past year that focus on encouraging entrepreneurship, assisting startups and attracting SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises) to locate in the emirate.
Earlier this year, Sharjah announced the establishment of Sharjah Media City Free Zone to help develop creative and media industries. Meanwhile, a new entrepreneurship centre, branded ‘Sheraa’, was launched at the American University of Sharjah in January by Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), aiming to inspire young people to start their own enterprises and raise the emirate’s profile as a preferred destination for startups.
The American University of Sharjah is a not-for-profit, independent, institution of higher education was founded in 1997 and located in Sharjah’s University City. The university offers 26 majors and 46 minors at the undergraduate level, plus 14 master’s degrees. AUS is ranked 7th in the 2015 QS University Rankings for the Arab Region.