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Abu Dhabi’s AI university signs research cooperation agreement with Virgin Hyperloop

Abu Dhabi’s AI university signs research cooperation agreement with Virgin Hyperloop

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has signed an MoU with the California-based Virgin Hyperloop to collaborate on research and innovation within the field of AI.

MBZUAI is the world’s first graduate-level, research-based AI university and was launched last year in Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City.

Read: Video: Abu Dhabi launches world’s first AI university

MBZUAI and Hyperloop will pursue three core objectives: joint fundamental research in several key AI domains such as computer vision; cloud computing initiatives; and a range of solution-oriented commercial projects in the smart transportation industry, they said in a joint press statement.

Hyperloop is capable of transporting passengers and goods at speeds exceeding 1,000kph and aims to become the most sustainable means of mass transportation.

The statement added that potential of AI, which is fundamental to Virgin Hyperloop’s future operations in the Middle East, will form the core basis to explore knowledge exchange opportunities between MBZUAI and Virgin Hyperloop.

“Virgin Hyperloop will change the way we move around the world. MBZUAI will help enable this by providing access to some of the world’s most talented AI professionals, as well as superior research facilities, which can contribute to realising Virgin Hyperloop’s vision,” said Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of State and chairman of the Board of Trustees at MBZUAI.

MBZUAI will offer Master of Science (MSc) and PhD level programmes and has begun vetting the applications for 2021 intake, with thousands of applications received from over 80 countries.

The first class of graduate students will commence coursework in January 2021. The university will provide all admitted students with a full scholarship, plus benefits such as a monthly allowance, health insurance, and accommodation. MBZUAI says that it will also work with leading local and global companies to secure internships and will assist students in finding employment opportunities.

“Our region has great potential to emerge as a global powerhouse from the current economic situation. The transportation and technology sector – and that includes advancements in AI in particular – will define our regional capabilities in the long-term,” said Sultan Bin Sulayem, group chairman and CEO of DP World and chairman of Virgin Hyperloop,

“Supported by AI, we are ultimately offering time with this disruptive, completely new, and sustainable technology that will help us to create an on-demand economy. We seek to revolutionise regional transport and trade sectors through a passenger and cargo hyperloop-enabled system, powered by AI. We can transport people and high-priority goods at the speed of an airliner, moving them between economic zones, cities and emirates. The UAE’s education sector, through partnerships such as our new collaboration with MBZUAI, will have a meaningful role in enabling and driving this very exciting and growing industry,” added Bin Sulayem.

Also within the region, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Investment granted a trade licence to Virgin Hyperloop One in March, under which the latter would explore possible routes, demand and costs associated with establishing a hyperloop project within the kingdom. An earlier study suggested that the project could contribute 124,000 high-tech local jobs and potentially lead to a $4bn increase the country’s GDP by 2030.

Read: Saudi’s hyperloop track project to create over 120,000 jobs – study


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