Business leaders rank UAE as global leader in innovation
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Business leaders rank UAE as global leader in innovation

Business leaders rank UAE as global leader in innovation

Business executives in the UAE rank the country as a global leader in creating an ‘innovation-conductive’ environment

Gulf Business

Business leaders in the UAE have hailed the country as a pioneer in creating an ‘innovation-conducive environment‘, a recent survey has revealed.

GE’s Global Innovation Barometer, which surveyed 3,400 business executives across 22 countries, including the UAE, conducted two separate studies, the second of which was to understand changes in global sentiment as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Business leaders in the UAE rank their country as the innovation champion (25 per cent) ahead of the US (22 per cent), Japan (16 per cent) and China (14 per cent). More than half (56 per cent) believe the Covid-19 pandemic has either triggered an increase or maintained the pace of innovation, while only a third (34 per cent) believe a positive impact on the ability of their business to innovate has taken place.

Meanwhile, 40 per cent of global business executives backed the country’s enabling innovative climate, ahead of countries such as Finland (38 per cent), India (37 per cent), Italy (37 per cent) and Malaysia (32 per cent).

However, the top five nations for fostering an innovation-conducive environment consists of the US (73 per cent), Japan (70 per cent), China (68 per cent), Germany (63 per cent) and the UK (53 per cent), the study revealed.

Dalya Al Muthanna, president and CEO of GE Gulf, noted that the findings of the study accurately reflect the UAE’s consistent focus on a strong culture of innovation in the country.

“With UAE businesses viewing innovation as a strategic priority, especially in the midst of the pandemic, it is important to promote governmental and industry collaboration to drive localized innovation,” she added.

Partnerships spanning across countries, governments, and companies, have been earmarked as enablers of innovation post the Covid-19 pandemic. However, over two-thirds business executives in the UAE believe that innovation should be focused on positively driving long-term societal or environmental benefits than returns in the short-term. Also, the lingering pandemic has resulted in business executives believing that efforts in innovation should be focused on pubic health and challenges faced in society over any other sector.

A whopping 79 per cent of the UAE’s business leaders believe that most innovation took place in healthcare, outperforming all other sectors. Meanwhile, the other sectors that the nation’s business leaders feel have made progress following the Covid-19 outbreak include high-tech and IT (48 per cent), telecoms (44 per cent) and communications, and media and culture (39 per cent).

As much as 68 per cent of the nation’s business leaders believe that innovation in AI will be vital for the post-Covid-19 era, while 77 per cent say AI and machine learning will be important because of its benefits to the working experience.

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