In 2017, the National Committee for the Sustainable Development Goals officially appointed specific institutions in the country responsible for each of the 17 goals, assigning the ninth goal to the Ministry of Economy.
Through its effective role, the Ministry of Economy (MOE) is keen to achieve the social and environmental sustainability requirements in all economic activities. This is considered to be one of the strategic objectives of the MOE, and its main vision aims are to achieve a sustainable economic growth based on knowledge and innovation. Investments in industry, infrastructure and innovation are important determinants of economic growth and development.
Ensuring a digital infrastructure is a crucial factor in providing a user-friendly environment for business doing, supporting the digital economy in the UAE and enhancing its capacity to fully keep up with the pace of the accelerating changes in the era of the unlimited technological transformation. The coming years will see macroeconomic transformations at a global level in the era of information and industrial revolution, and in particular the technological progress considered to be a prerequisite for finding durable solutions for economic and environmental challenges.
The MOE’s role in SDG 9 consists of managing innovation and investment by developing standards and regulations that ensure the ease of doing business, managing corporate projects, initiatives, investments and external trade in sustainable manner, and collaborating with non-government organizations and public sector to help strengthen the sustainable growth in developing countries and manage innovation and investment.
The MOE will play an administrative role with local institutions by building and regulating an appropriate environment to ensure the welfare of sustainable companies. On the other hand, it will have a legislative role with governments through building strategies and regulations, promulgating laws and legislation that are adequate for all.
The key objectives of the MOE will be developing policies and legislation in accordance with the best international standards for competitive economy, organizing and developing national SME and entrepreneurship sector, as well as enabling sound business practices, protecting consumer, protecting intellectual property rights, and protecting rights of foreign investors.
According to the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda and the Pillar on Knowledge Competitive Economy based on Innovation, the MOE continues to do its part in unleashing Emirati potential to lead the economic development by encouraging SMEs in private sector and instilling the culture of entrepreneurship in universities and schools to produce a generation with the spirit of leadership, creativity, responsibility that guarantees advanced positions for the country in ease of doing business, global competitiveness, innovation, entrepreneurship, development, and R&D indicators.
Thus, the MOE ensures that innovation is present its mission, plan and strategy through which its values can be summarized as follows:
The MOE participates in innovation process and focuses on and directs its efforts towards its development in UAE. It also participates in accelerating innovation pace and (the) innovation mindset in the UAE economy and is in charge of the transformation towards a knowledge and innovation-based economy.
The MOE Plan includes three strategic goals ,mentioned below through which we can see the role of the ministry in achieving the Agenda of SDGs 2030 in the country :
Thus, MOE is committed to constantly developing and improving services and processes, upgrading performance level in accordance with customer requirements and innovation and excellence standards, and constantly working towards identifying stakeholders as well as implementing joint projects with them.
The MOE has also led the Global innovation index (GII). An executive team in charge of the GII was formed at UAE level by Cabinet’s Decree in 2015. Responsible for developing methodology and formulating policies in support of the innovation environment, enhancing the UAE competitiveness in intellectual property rights and create a stimulating environment for innovation, research and development. The MOE focuses on coordinating all efforts with concerned entities to achieve the best results in this index and reach the top 10 countries in the world by 2021
GII is a composite index which measures innovation performance in countries through innovation inputs and outputs. Innovation inputs are measured on the basis of institutions, human resources, infrastructure, market evolution and business evolution, while Innovation outputs are measured on the basis of knowledge, technology and invention outputs.
GII consists one of the indicators of the UAE Vision 2021 National Agenda under the “Competitive Knowledge Economy” Pillar. This index is monitored by the MOE in collaboration with other federal and local government entities, the academic sector and private organizations.
In 2019, the UAE maintained its leading position at Arab level and jumped two places to the 36th rank at global level on GII. The country also continued its progress in innovation inputs, which is one of the two GII main elements, and ranked 24th globally, overtaking prominent countries in innovation and development areas.
The jumping of the country by 2 places on GII global classification represents an important accomplishment that enhances its position as a leading destination in innovation, knowledge and technology-based development, and strengthens its role as a prominent innovation hub at regional and global levels.
Such results are the core of strong partnerships between the public, private and academic players in innovation field. The preceding period saw joint forces and integrated roles between the MOE and its different partners to improve policies and institutional infrastructures in support of innovation environment, in line with the significant frameworks and strategic enablers adopted by the State in all innovation-related fields, such as the advanced, the artificial intelligence strategies, the fourth industrial revolution, the digital economy, R&D programmes, etc.
The National Strategy for Advanced Innovation
In February 2018, the UAE Government launched the National Strategy for Advanced Innovation, which represents the developed version of the National Innovation Strategy and a new phase of enabling people by shifting from the focus on critical sectors to the focus on targets and results in 7 fields, namely:
The Strategy aims at developing a new thinking method that stimulates experimentation and calculated risk in both government and private sectors, devising solutions for future
that supports the achievement of pillars and the goals of UAE Centennial 2071 that establishes the UAE as the best country worldwide in education, government performance, society happiness and economy.
The other objectives of the new strategy are: