NRF at a Glance
The UAE Government Strategy 2011-2013 lays the foundations to achieve the UAE
Vision 2021. It forms the basis upon which the Federal Entities develop their
strategic and operational plans, and consists of seven general principles, seven
strategic priorities and seven strategic enablers. Amongst the seven priorities
identiﬁed in the UAE 2011-2013 Government Strategy Document is “Competitive
Knowledge Economy”. Within the Competitive Knowledge Economy Strategic Priority,
nine Major Directions are identiﬁed, including “Promote and enhance innovation,
research and development”.
The National Research Foundation (NRF) was created by His Excellency Sheikh
Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, Minister of Higher Education & Scientiﬁc Research in
March 2008 to help build a competitive knowledge economy in UAE and be a key
element in the UAE national innovation system. There are three interdependent
components of a national innovation system: (i) knowledge production; (ii)
knowledge application; and (iii) knowledge diffusion.
These components involve extensive participation of universities and colleges in
the country and their faculty. Without a strong university research base it is
impossible to have a successful national innovation system and competitive
knowledge economy. A strong university research base enables a competitive
knowledge economy to be created. A strong research base in the UAE universities
with high quality doctoral programs in place will produce the next generation of
national researchers who will help build the competitive knowledge economy.