Emirates Foundation, Exxon Al Khalij announce Think Science partnership

ABU DHABI, 1st February, 2016 (WAM)–Emirates Foundation, an independent philanthropic organisation set up by the Abu Dhabi Government to facilitate public-private partnerships for empowering youth across the UAE and Exxon Al Khalij, announced their partnership to support Think Science programme, one of the Foundation’s leading programmes that aims to empower Emirati youth to innovate through science and technology.

The agreement reflects and advances both partners’ strategic commitment to promoting science and technology among young Emiratis as an initiative of critical importance to the UAE’s development and progress.

The partnership agreement was signed by Clare Woodcraft-Scott, Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Foundation and Paul Theys, ExxonMobil’s UAE Lead Country Manager.

Think Science is comprised of three core components. The first component is the Think Science Competition – a nation-wide science competition that engages UAE youth to develop, design and build science-based innovations that respond to society’s most pressing needs. The second component is the Think Science Ambassadors a platform that inspires and empowers outstanding youth, who had previously participated in the Think Science Competition, and enhances their ability to address technological issues, through providing them with opportunities to participate in local, regional, and global platforms and competitions.

Celebrating accomplishments of some of the brightest young and aspiring scientists from schools and universities across the UAE, Think Science’s third component is Think Science Connect, serving as a platform for youth and industries to connect and develop local talent.

Student achievement, particularly in science and engineering is important to the UAE’s capacity for innovation and future economic growth as set out by Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030.

Now in its 4th year, proposals submitted by UAE youth to participate in Think Science have resulted in more than 900 projects in different science and technology disciplines. Over 200 outstanding projects are selected to compete at the annual Think Science Fair, showcased by over 560 youth. This year’s edition of the Think Science Fair will take place in April 17-19, 2016 in Dubai at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Mohanna Al Muhairi, Emirates Foundation Chief Operations Officer said, “At Emirates Foundation we believe in a focused model of philanthropy where impact can be maximized through effective and long term partnerships. This is part of the promise we bring to our nation’s development and the value proposition we offer our partners. This is particularly visible through our Think Science Programme where innovation, science and technology are coming to life and maturing into successful models that contribute directly to the development of a knowledge-based economy. Investment in science, technology, research and incubation of budding ideas through our private sector partnerships will without doubt expedite the transformation of our economy into a model of sustainable growth and development.”

ExxonMobil’s UAE Lead Country Manager, Paul Theys commented, “By partnering with Emirates Foundation, we strive to make a difference and contribute to Abu Dhabi’s Economic Vision 2030 by sharing competencies and best practices. ExxonMobil encourages the pursuit of science and math through a variety of programs around the world including in the UAE. We have made it a priority to reinvigorate student interest in science and math at all ages as this is the key to building a competitive workforce and ensuring students get the education needed to become the engineers and innovators of tomorrow.”

The Emirates Foundation is now focused on its new mission of delivering positive and permanent social impact for young people. We plan to do so through our new six-strong programme portfolio that provides long-term initiatives to support youth. Think Science is one of these programmes that aims to create a strong link between young people and the industrial and business sector in the UAE with a view to addressing the skills gap in this area.

Think Science aims to spark Emirati youth’s interest in science and technology (S&T) with a view to encouraging them to both study science and technology and follow a career in this area. The program aims to motivate young people to look at this as a potentially exciting and highly rewarding career path that not only can provide them with excellent professional opportunities but will also support the ambitious industrial development goals of the UAE.