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UAE Drones for Good Award kicks off on Thursday in Dubai

The Judging Committee for the award will evaluate live performances of 20 teams who have qualified to the semi-final stage of the International and National Competitions. The public have been offered free entry to the award event. The final competitions and the announcement of the winners will be held on Saturday 6 February. 

The UAE Drones for Good Award is the largest award of its kind, offering a total prize money of AED 4.67 million (US$ 1 million for the International Competition winner, and AED 1 million for the National Competition winner).

Saif Al Aleeli, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Museum of the Future Foundation and Coordinator General of the UAE Drones for Good Award, said all the necessary preparations have been completed to welcome the participants from a range of countries, including the UAE, Canada, Australia, United States, United Kingdom, Ethiopia, Greece, and the Philippines. He said the live demonstration of the projects will showcase the services and tasks that can be undertaken using drones in real life to highlight the importance of drones sector in the future.

Al Aleeli called on government entities and private companies to benefit from this event in the UAE, which represents a global forum for the innovators in this sector to exchange experiences and knowledge. He said this is also an ideal opportunity for students in the drones sector to learn about the latest developments in this area.

High profile judges
The Judging Committee will evaluate the participating projects to see if they are safe, effective, economical and innovative and whether they feature new ways of improving an existing service through the use of drones.

The Judging Committee of the UAE Drones for Good Award includes several prominent international experts such as Farouk El-Baz, Research Professor and Director of the Center for Remote Sensing, Boston University; Dr. Eesa Bastaki, President of Dubai University; Patrick Meier; a global entrepreneur and founder of Humanitarian UAV Network; and Manahel Thabet, Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine & President of World IQ Foundation.

Other prominent international experts include Jason N G, Chief Scientist and iCampus/Smart City Lead at Etisalat BT Innovation Centre, BT Innovate and Design; Lian Pin Koh, Founding Director of the non-profit; Phillip Hall, Adjunct Professor, School of Civil, Environmental and Mining Engineering at The University of Western Australia; Nikolaos Mavridis, Director of Interactive Robots and Media Lab and Researcher, NCSR Demokritos; Ronald Arkin, Regents’ Professor and Director of the Mobile Robot Laboratory; Rich Goldman, Chancellor of Global University of Engineering; Carole Van Caillie, International Operations, Indra, and Research and Innovation Independent Expert at European Commission; and M O Jamshidi, Lutcher Brown Endowed Distinguished Chaired Professor at the University of Texas.

The Judging Panel also includes Fatma Taher, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department at Khalifa University; Manar Abu Talib from the University of Sharjah; Sara Amiri, Program Manager, Advanced Systems, Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre; and Mohsen Al Awadhi, Lead Mission Systems Engineer at Emirates Mars Mission.

The list also includes Nazih Khaddaj Mallat, Assistant Professor at College of Engineering and Information Technology, Al Ain University; Ahmed M. Darwish, IEEE Egypt Section Chair; Jorge Dias, Full Professor in Electrical Engineering and Researcher from Robotics Institute from Khalifa University, Abu Dhabi; Khaled Letaief, Dean of HKUST School of Engineering; and Adnan Al Rais, Engineer at Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre. 

Other jury members are Wathiq Mansoor, Professor of Computer Engineering, American University, Dubai; Boutheina Tlili, Associate Professor Electrical Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Dubai; Harry Tan, Founder and Chief Scientist, Menara Networks Inc;

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