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Sharjah to invest $500m to make AUS top research university in the Arab world

The Government of Sharjah plans to invest half a billion dollars (AED 1.8 billion) in the American University of Sharjah (AUS) over the next five years to fund the university’s goal of becoming the top research university in the Arab world. According to an interview by the Gulf Today with Hussein Al Mahmoudi, Chief Executive Officer of AUS Enterprises, investments will focus on doctoral programmes and the establishment of specialised laboratories for six research fields identified by the university for development.

H.H. Dr. Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS) recently announced plans to make AUS the top research university in the Arab world within the next five years. Founded in 1997, the American University of Sharjah is a not-for-profit, independent, institution of higher education located in Sharjah’s University City.

The AUS Research, Technology and Innovation (RTI) Park is currently being developed, adjacent to American University of Sharjah campus, by the university’s commercial and investment arm AUS Enterprises. The park will encourage research, development and knowledge-intensive businesses to establish themselves in the free zone.

Formed as an economic free zone, the first phase of the RTI Park is expected to open by the end of 2018 and be able to accommodate up to 200 companies. Six focus areas have been identified for the RTI Park: water technology, renewable energy, environmental technology, digitization, production design and architecture, plus transport and logistics. Targeting local and global companies, including private-public sector ventures, the free zone plans to offer office space, scientific laboratories and residential accommodation.

The park forms part of Sharjah’s efforts to foster innovation, encourage entrepreneurship and develop a sustainable knowledge economy. ‘Sheraa’, a new entrepreneurship centre, was launched at the American University of Sharjah in 2016 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.

AUS is ranked 7th in the 2015 QS University Rankings for the Arab Region and offers 26 majors and 45 minors at the undergraduate level, plus 13 master’s degrees.

Source: Gulf Today, AUS Enterprises

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