Abu Dhabi International Airport
Abu Dhabi International Airport Parker/Pixabay

Abu Dhabi University (ADU) on Thursday started its 11th Undergraduate Research and Innovation Competition (URIC) at the University's main campus to promote innovation and critical thinking in students.

This competition provides a platform for university students to showcase their research projects in various fields, including engineering, business, education, arts and social sciences, natural and health sciences, and innovation.

This year's edition has received around 600 projects from 77 universities across more than 10 countries, including the UAE, KSA, Oman, Egypt, and Kuwait as well as Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine, India, North Macedonia, and the United States.

The event was attended by around 800 people on campus while 400 joined online, including students, judges, mentors and VIP guests. Key speakers like Fahad Al Mheiri, Managing Director of Raytheon Emirates, an RTX business; Dr. Dirk Richter, Senior Advisor, Director of Health Sector Innovation at the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Innovator and Board-Certified Surgeon; and Dr. Karim Houni, Head of Digital Innovation at Emirates Global Aluminium, were in presence at the event.

Addressing the event, Professor Ghassan Aouad, Chancellor Abu Dhabi University (ADU), said, "For the 11th year, we are delighted to witness the great turnaround of university students partaking in the Competition."

"At ADU, we work closely with our strategic partners such as RTX, to further provide students and the community with state-of-the-art competitions to advance their research and innovation knowledge and skills while promoting critical thinking," he added, according to WAM.

Aouad noted that this competition inspires GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region universities to integrate scientific research into undergraduate education to enhance students' career prospects.

"We extend our gratitude to all participants for their dedication and eagerness to showcase their exceptional projects, as well as ADU's committed faculty and staff members for their ongoing support towards the success of this event," he said.

He also thanked the event's partner, RTX, for supporting their strategic initiative with sponsorship.

Al Mheiri, on the other hand, said RTX "recognizes the significance of fostering an inquiry-based culture that embraces a multidisciplinary innovation approach to drive sustainable growth and progress in the UAE and wider region."

"The ADU Undergraduate Research and Innovation Competition does just that and continues to provide an exceptional platform for students to transform their ideas into tangible research projects," he added.

The URIC is the biggest undergraduate research event in the GCC and MENA region. The competition has grown significantly over the years as last year witnessed around 400 research papers, presented in 25 different fields by teams from 64 universities across 14 countries.