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** Important Notice **

NRF received many requests to extend the deadline for the U-IRCA 2011 competition. As the problem appears to be the signing of the MoU, it has been decided that the deadline for submitting the MoU itself will be extended until 28 November 2011. ALL OTHER REQUIRED DOCUMENTS STILL NEED TO BE SUBMITTED BY 14 NOVEMBER 2011, 13:00 AT THE LATEST. The MoU will have to be sent to no later than 28 November 2011 @13:00. Failure to submit the MOU will mean elimination from the competition.



The National Research Foundation (NRF) of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) advances the UAE national research agenda by awarding grants for research on a competitive basis in those fields of endeavor that will improve the quality of life of the citizens of UAE or contribute to the development of the UAE as a knowledge-based society.

The NRF affirms the importance of University-Industry research collaboration by launching a competitive call under this topic. University-Industry research collaborations have a long tradition and have brought forward excellent results for both sides as well as for society at large. For companies in order to stay competitive and profitable access to research facilities, human resources and new ideas are important. By teaming up with a university these needs can be met. On the other hand, universities are gaining reputation by their ability to attract businesses interested in accessing their knowledge, talents, as well as their physical research infrastructure. Thus, cross-fertilizing research relationships between universities and companies enable both entities to sustain growth in their areas.

The University-Industry Research Collaboration Award (U-IRCA) 2011 program aims to support University-Industry research collaboration projects in any scientific discipline and field of application. A key criterion for U-IRCA 2011 projects is their potential impact for the participating companies’ performance as well as the potential for establishing a long-term partnership between the entities.

The U-IRCA 2011 program supports research collaborations on a small scale, with a 1-year timeframe and limited budget of AED 200,000 per partnership. Although NRF is aware of the limitations that these conditions may have on addressing any high-risk frontier research we see great potential in this program to pave the way for the future of University-Industry research collaboration. The U-IRCA 2011 program may prove as a very valuable instrument for initiating larger research collaboration projects for the future and establishing a long-term research relationship amongst the involved parties by supporting e.g. feasibility studies.

Please note that in the frame of this program the term “industry” also implies governmental institutions. University-Industry research collaborations are thus understood here as any research partnership between a higher education institution and an alternative entity, being either a private business or a governmental affiliation.

Program Objectives

  • Foster research collaboration between UAE national higher education institutions and industry.
  • Set the ground for longer-term university-industry partnerships in the UAE.
  • Strengthen the innovative capacities of local industries and advance industry-driven research and innovation.
  • Provide universities access to industrial environments for applied and problem-based research activities.

Key Deadlines

  • 14 November 2011: Deadline for application submission
  • 2 January 2012: External evaluation of applications completed
  • January 2012: NRF sends notification on awarding decision
  • January 2012: Grant Awarding Ceremony

Eligibility Conditions

Applicant must be:

  • Only UAE federal institutions and the Commission for Academic Accreditation (CAA)-approved institutions in UAE can submit U-IRCA 2011 applications.
  • Any U-IRCA 2011 must have a signed university-industry partnership commitment (see MoU below)
  • The participating industry partner must be a legal entity established in the UAE. It can either be a private business or a governmental affiliation.
  • Two universities (according to the definition in Condition 1 above) alone cannot establish a University-Industry partnership. However, one proposal may include more than one university as long as the partnership also includes an alternative entity as defined under Condition 3 above.
  • Any U-IRCA 2011 must have a designated Principal Investigator (PI), who takes main responsibility for the scientific coordination of the project.
  • In addition to the PI the proposal may involve additional senior researchers, doctoral and postdoctoral researchers, students, consultants who provide specific expertise on a limited portion of the project, lab technicians, and programmers.
  • Although there is no limit on the other personnel participating in any U-IRCA 2011 project. It should be noted that U-IRCA 2011 awards are meant for individual or small team research.
  • An individual can be the PI on only one proposal.
  • The PI must be employed as a full-time faculty member at an eligible institution (Condition 1 above), with their employment contract covering the period of the grant, and their normal place of work being within UAE.
  • The PI must have a PhD degree or equivalent. There is no requirement on the numbers of years beyond the doctorate degree. But the applicants will be expected to have a track record of research/scholarship that is commensurate with the stage of their career as measured by the academic metrics appropriate to their fields of endeavor.
  • The PI is expected to have the capability and authority to mentor and supervise graduate students and team members.
  • If any of the above conditions are not met, then NRF reserves the right to declare the application ineligible.

Grant Terms and Conditions

National Research Foundation Terms and ConditionsNational Research Foundation Terms and Conditions

U-IRC 2011 Call for Submission of Proposals

**NEW Update** Section V.

University-Industry Research Collaboration Award 2011University-Industry Research Collaboration Award 2011

Submission Instructions

U-IRC Application Form screenshotU-IRC Application Form screenshot - NOT TO BE SUBMITTED

To Apply click here. Deadline has passed. Thank you for your interest.

Open to All Researchers in CAA and Federal Institutions.

For Inquiries

Please email


U-IRC Budget TemplateBudget Template   U-IRC Letter of Endorsement TemplateLetter of Endorsement Template U-IRC MoUMoU Template

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