The UAE government has launched a competition with a $1 million international prize and a Dh1 million local prize for design Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones to deliver government services more efficiently and conveniently.
Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and Chairman of the Higher Committee for Mobile Government, announced the competition at a news conference on the sideline of the Government Summit.
Companies, universities, creative individuals and specialised professionals will all be invited to participate.
The initiative is being launched under the direction of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Al Gergawi said.
“Sheikh Mohammed’s goal is for the UAE to be the smartest and most effective government in the world. We are committed to constant innovation in government services because ultimately this is the surest way to improve quality of life for all citizens, residents and visitors,” Al Gergawi said.
The UAE intends to develop drone technology to deliver a variety of civilian services more quickly and effectively.
This will support the government’s drive to make citizens’ lives easier by delivering private-sector standards of customer service.
Potential applications of drones include the delivery of government documents, traffic and infrastructure monitoring, and services in health and education.
Al Gergawi added that the initiative was part of Sheikh Mohammed’s integrated vision for government, under which the UAE constantly seeks innovative uses for emerging technologies to support its commitment to excellence in service delivery.
The international competition will be run by a committee of specialists in UAVs and government officials.
Together they will evaluate how effectively each UAV innovation would add value by making government services more efficient, and by saving time and effort for customers.
The UAV design must meet global safety standards, must be highly reliable, and must be capable of covering a reasonable geographical range within the city that will use them.
Contestants’ submissions should include a full proposal detailing all technical features required for the drone to carry out a defined government service.
Technical details and processes for the competition will be announced soon.
The winner of the $1 million international prize will be announced in February 2015 at that year’s Government Summit.
The winner of the Dh1 million UAE local prize will be announced in May 2014.
The winning idea will be implemented within the UAE Federal Government.
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