Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Transformational Development Company (IKE MEA) and Basma Enterprises, part of Sharjah-based Basma Group, to cooperate in disruptive innovation, and establish a state-of-the-art-institute that will be the first of its kind in the Middle East region to focus on transformational development by using disruptive technologies, and immersive learning techniques, including Augmented and Virtual Reality.
The MoU was signed by H.E. Sheikh Sultan Bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, Chairman of Basma Group, and H.E. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, and Prof. Loren Roosendaal, Founder of the Transformational Development Company. The three parties will work together to establish the institute and expand its capabilities to serve the developmental needs of the workforce of the UAE, with capabilities, focused on sectors such as Aviation, Military and Transport.
Commenting on the development, Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi, said: “This joint collaboration stems from the visionary vision and sage directives of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah to promote sustainable development through advanced education systems and immersive learning technologies, ensuring evolving knowledge transfer in the Emirate of Sharjah in particular and the UAE in general, in a manner that optimises the performance and enhances the skills of the largest possible segments of Emiratis at the public and private sectors.”
Sheikh Sultan bin Ahmed Al Qasimi underlined the importance of sustaining cooperation and strategic partnerships with specialised and long-standing, experienced research and development organisations, such as SRTI Park and IKE MEA.
“We are very proud of this synergy in Basma Enterprises as it falls within our corporate social responsibility initiatives,” he noted.
For his part, H.E. Hussain Al Mahmoudi, said: “The signing of this MoU is a great step forward in bringing in expertise and technology that will help the residents of SRTI park and the people of the UAE succeed in a rapidly changing world where up-to-date skills and knowledge are the key to success.” Al Mahmoudi added, “We are thrilled to have BASMA Group and IKE MEA join us in building on SRTI Park’s strategy and vision to become a regional development centre for future science and innovative technologies in Sharjah and for the UAE as a whole.”
The Institute of Transformational Development will feature Virtual Training Centre including a Virtual/Augmented Reality room and Virtual Reality Classroom, as well as next-generation Data Visualisation and planning facilities. In addition to providing these facilities to government, education and business customers, the institute is intended to play a central role in the development and roll-out of large scale corporate, educational and government training & development programmes across the Middle East.
Virtual Reality technology enables the creation of whole new physical experiences taking place in a virtual world, while Augmented Reality makes the surroundings come alive with data, images and unique experiences super-imposed on the world around you. Together, these and other technologies open up new avenues for visualising the future and offering an interactive training for the development of new skills and competencies in a time and place independent manner. This will lead to the rapid development of learning materials and virtual labs for key skills and audiences.
SRTI Park’s vision is to develop and manage an innovation ecosystem that promotes Research and Development and supports enterprise activities and the triple helix collaboration of industry, government, and academia. It provides an environment conducive to innovation and creativity by creating an attractive and sustainable Park with integrated infrastructure and services to transfer and localise knowledge and support, encourage and develop an innovation system to enhance the status of the UAE as a global destination in the fields of research and technology and to encourage investment.
The Transformational Development Company was set up to help realise the vision of Prof. Loren Roosendaal of helping organisations and individuals deal with the challenges brought on by our rapidly changing world. Originally founded in the Netherlands, the company has been at the centre of a number of initiatives including the development of state of the art Virtual Reality experiences, the development of the Knowingo mobile learning platform, which helps companies around the world to provide their employees with vital knowledge and more recently, the development of the world’s first Master of Business Transformation in partnership with TIAS Business School.