Dubai will host the ‘2019 FIRST Global DXB Challenge’, an event in the fields of robotics and artificial intelligence which brings together talented young people with a passion for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The event will take place from October 24th to 27th at the Festival Arena in Dubai.
Held for the first time in the region, the event will bring together more than 1,500 young people from over 191 countries. One of the largest events of its kind, the Challenge aims to address the world’s most critical environmental issues such as wastage of water and energy, sustainability and pollution, through a global robotics competition.
Organised by the Dubai Future Foundation under the theme ‘Ocean Opportunities’, the Challenge focuses on developing robots to clean up the millions of tons of pollutants in the oceans which adversely affect marine life and the environment. These are produced mainly by factories, mismanaged sewage systems and marine activities.
The Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of The Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, said that Dubai continues to cement its position as a global hub for young talent and creative minds, with its determination to employ technology across various sectors as part of its Fourth Industrial Revolution drive.
Sheikh Hamdan noted that technology is the key element shaping the industries of the future and an indispensable tool for tackling human challenges and ensuring a better tomorrow.
The vision of the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has helped the UAE create the optimal environment for motivating young people to engage with modern science, especially advanced technology such as robotics and artificial intelligence, Sheikh Hamdan added.
“Hosting such global events enables Dubai to translate this guidance into reality and ensure positive outcomes that benefit humankind. We are proud to have become enablers for the convergence of minds and initiatives that pave the way for creating a better tomorrow.”
“The future of the world is in the hands of young people. Our role is to help empower them and expand their participation in all fields so as to prepare them to face future challenges. It is crucial that we provide them with the tools that enable them to create and advance because they hold the key to a prosperous future,” Sheikh Hamdan continued.
Teams featured in the FIRST Global Challenge were selected based on their results in a year-round series of qualifying events held around the world. The teams are made up of four to five students aged between 14 and 18. Each team receives a robotic kit and is tasked with assembling a robot able to address various issues related to ocean and marine life.
The UAE won the bid to host the FIRST Global Challenge at the 7th World Government Summit in Dubai last February in the presence of Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, Chairman of the World Government Summit, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation. Rick Perry, US Secretary of Energy, also attended.
Al Gergawi stressed, “The UAE is a pioneer in supporting the advancement of science, technology, and innovation for the benefit of the community.”
“Hosting such a key global event underlines the UAE’s keenness to promote global partnerships aimed at creating a better future for mankind. It is essential that we support creative talent and facilitate the dissemination of knowledge,” he added.
At the 6th World Ocean Summit this year, the UAE pledged to participate in international cooperation to clean up the streams of ten major rivers in Africa and Asia and to tackle pollution with plastic waste in coastal areas of developing countries in Africa and Asia.