MBZUAI partners with Israeli university for AI research

Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber attends the virtual signing ceremony of the MoU.
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Updated 16 September 2020

MBZUAI partners with Israeli university for AI research

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in the UAE and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU), which will see the two higher education institutes work together across a range of fields, aiming to advance the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI) as a tool for progress.

The MoU, which is the first of its kind to be signed between two higher education institutes from the UAE and Israel, covers a range of opportunities for collaboration, including student and postdoctoral fellows exchange programs, conferences and seminars, various forms of exchange between researchers, sharing of computing resources, and the establishment of a joint virtual institute for AI.

This follows the signing of the historic peace accord between the UAE and Israel last month, establishing full normalization of relations between the two countries.

The MoU was signed virtually by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al-Jaber, UAE minister of industry and advanced technology and chairman of the MBZUAI board of trustees, and Weizmann Institute president Professor Alon Chen, and was attended by officials from both the organizations.

Dr. Al-Jaber said: “As a pioneering university, MBZUAI seeks out partnerships with leaders in their respective fields to further our collective scientific understanding and push the boundaries of technological innovation ... Through this MoU we can leverage the expertise of both our institutes toward using AI to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from COVID-19 to climate change, and beyond.”

Professor Chen said: “We are thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with this unique, pioneering institution and to advance the field of AI together. As a neuroscientist, I believe that AI is the extension of the power and intricacy of the human brain into the digital realm, and the implications will be vast, affecting our lives and our health, and the global economy.”

MBZUAI, established in 2019, is the world’s first graduate level, research-based AI university. Based in Abu Dhabi, the university offers M.Sc. and Ph.D. programs in the fields of computer vision, machine learning, and natural language processing. MBZUAI, expecting its first cohort of students to start in January 2021, is introducing a new model of academia and research to the field of AI, providing students and faculty access to some of the world’s most advanced AI systems to unleash the technology’s full potential for economic and societal development.

The Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel is one of the world’s top-ranking multidisciplinary research institutions and offers masters’ and doctoral level degrees across five faculties. It is noted for its wide-ranging exploration of the natural and exact sciences. Institute scientists are advancing research on the human brain, AI, computer science and encryption, astrophysics and particle physics. In addition, they are tackling diseases such as cancer, and helping reverse climate change through environmental, ocean, and plant sciences, and more.


PepsiCo & SFA launch movement for athletic lifestyle

Updated 20 September 2020

PepsiCo & SFA launch movement for athletic lifestyle

The Saudi Sports for All Federation (SFA) and PepsiCo have announced a partnership that aims to make sports more accessible, facilitating a better quality and balanced lifestyle for people of all ages and abilities in the Kingdom. The 2-year collaboration will see both partners work toward achieving the nation’s goal of increasing participation in weekly sports by 40 percent by 2030.

Four key pillars — Endorse, Promote, Enable and Activate — are at the core of the partnership, in which PepsiCo endorses the SFA’s program of sports activities through an integrated, impactful marketing and communications campaign. This endorsement is centered on “Harek,” a new movement revealed on Sunday, which is being spearheaded by PepsiCo in collaboration with the SFA to encourage a more active lifestyle and participation in SFA events.

Harek, which means “move,” has been designed with its own identity and characterizes key principles of inclusivity, longevity, inspiring action, and is rooted in local culture.

Both partners will unite to promote key events including Family Activity Days, Neighborhood League Football, and virtual fitness activity as more people are now exercising at home. The partnership has enlisted PepsiCo’s support as the “beverage and nutrition partner” at SFA-selected events, anchored around brands such as Aquafina and Quaker Oats. 

The partnership was marked on Sunday with a signing event attended by President of SFA Prince Khaled bin Alwaleed bin Talal, and officiated by Managing Director of SFA Shaima Saleh Al-Husseini, alongside Tamer Mosalam, Gulf and Levant foods vice president and business unit general manager at PepsiCo.

“This partnership is a great example of how the government is working with the private sector to encourage widespread participation in sports and athletic activities,” said Al-Husseini. “This is not just a step, but a leap in the right direction, setting the pace for the adoption of healthier habits.”

“By working hand-in-hand with the SFA, PepsiCo looks forward to getting Saudi citizens and residents engaged in a wide variety of sport and leisure pursuits, and help the Kingdom pursue its ambition of being among the leaders in selected sports regionally and globally,” said Mosalam.