The UAE Ministry of Defense (MoD) and Tawazun Economic Council (Tawazun) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish and organize Research and Development (R&D) planning and execution for the defense and security sectors.
The MoU was signed by Major-General Staff Pilot Ishaq Saleh Al-Balushi, Assistant Undersecretary for Industries, Ministry of Defense and Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, Chief Executive Officer of Tawazun Economic Council.
The parties have agreed to establish and organize R&D activities in various and targeted fields of defense, including dual-use applications. This is in order to ensure development of national defense capabilities that meet UAE Armed Forces operational requirements and evaluate them against the UAE’s defense and security goals and objectives.
Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Bowardi, Minister of State for Defense Affairs, said that with this MoU the Ministry of Defense formally recognizes an already existing close relationship, as it chooses Tawazun Economic Council as the “Strategic Partner” for all R&D activities related to defense and security.
Matar Salim Ali Al Dhaheri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Defense, said that the MoD has an established relationship with Tawazun, and this is a step forward in furthering cooperation and partnership between the two parties.
He added that under the MoU the Ministry will be responsible for all defense policy making in relation to R&D, while Tawazun has an enhanced mandate and responsibility to manage the defense R&D programs in the UAE.
Tareq Abdulraheem Al Hosani, CEO of Tawazun, said: “The Ministry of Defense and Tawazun have been working together to clearly define the roles of entities for R&D and Intellectual Property (IP) Management. Consequently, we have been shaping and developing an R&D strategy for the defense and security sectors, focusing on targeted specific areas of the ecosystem.”
“Based on our analysis of the existing ‘in country’ capabilities, the R&D portfolio will include a range of short and long-term projects from basic and applied research through to prototypes and product development to achieve our national objectives. The definition of the R&D projects will be aligned with the prioritized sectors in defense and security,” he added.
The signing of the MoU represents the foundation step for the creation of a structure whereby the two parties will work together with other government companies and universities to energies and accelerate the pace of R&D, building an environment that supports innovation and scientific discoveries, and creates partnerships amongst the scientific research and academic institutions and private sectors.
Balancing between the use of national resources and international entities and ensuring alignment with R&D strategy and end user requirements, Tawazun will continue to work with its stakeholders to realize their R&D Projects efficiently and deliver end products that enhance the strategic capabilities of the UAE armed forces and security authorities.