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HCT, Oracle partner for student training in AI

DUBAI, May 13, 2018

UAE’s Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT), represented by its Centre of Excellence for Applied Research and Training (CERT), signed an agreement with Oracle, the global leader in specialised software, IT and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

The two sides will cooperate in the nation’s capacity building and student training and empowerment in AI technologies.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) includes providing specialised training to obtain Oracle professional certification in AI technologies, as well as introducing a specialised programme in AI.

The MoU was signed by Dr Abdullatif Al Shamsi, vice chancellor of HCT, and Arun Khehar, Oracle's senior vice president for the Applications Business for Eastern Central Europe, Middle East and Africa (ECEMEA).

Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, emphasised that preparing qualified young Emiratis who are capable of using AI technologies and tools to develop solutions for current and future challenges, is key to the government's efforts to achieve the UAE Strategy for Artificial Intelligence.

Al Olama said, “Academic institutions in the UAE play a key role in developing educational and training programmes and introducing disciplines that prepare the next generation of leaders who are capable of developing key sector.”

The Minister of State for AI commended the initiatives of academic institutions in the UAE to develop their educational curricula. He praised HCT’s initiative to launch this specialised programme in AI science and technologies.

Dr Al Shamsi highlighted the importance of cooperating with Oracle, the global organisation specialised in modern technologies, especially AI. Over the past years, HCT have worked closely with Oracle in technology education. This MoU enhances partnership between the two sides to benefit the students and empower them with skills of the future.

He noted that today, we face the challenges associated with the rapid advances, especially in AI technologies. We see this in the Internet of Things (IoT), drones, Big Data, and other technologies that shape the future of the industry and global economic growth. This makes it necessary to empower the youth with these technologies to help them contribute to the UAE development through ideas and innovations related to technological developments.

Dr Al Shamsi added that the agreement with Oracle allows students to visit the Innovation Hub to learn from experts about AI concepts and applications and how to employ them to promote happiness in society. Specialised training will be provided to around 500 students who will be divided into weekly training groups.

They will experience first-hand an interesting and realistic experience of various AI applications, and will receive certificates of completion after finishing the training course. HCT will also discuss with Oracle the possibility of introducing an applied academic programme in AI for students to train and get a professional specialised certificate in AI. This will enhance their skills and career prospects after graduation, as well as support one of HCT’s strategic objectives to help students obtain international professional certification.

Dr Al Shamsi noted that the partnership with Oracle through HCT and CERT will provide training programmes in AI, innovation, research and entrepreneurship for students and graduates as well as organisations that want to develop their competencies in these areas. He emphasised the importance of AI which will even impact the educational process in the future. Big Data will help determine the interests of each student. Using AI, we can prepare a tailored curriculum for each individual student, which will support innovation since people are usually more creative in the areas they are interested in.

Arun Khehar said, “Forrester predicts that businesses that use Artificial Intelligence, big data and the Internet of Things (IoT) to uncover new business insights will steal $1.2 million per annum from their less informed peers by 2020. An Oracle research also shows an increasing interest in Artificial Intelligence capabilities, with nearly a third (29 per cent) of cloud users citing the inclusion of Artificial Intelligence as a key requirement of cloud.”

"However, making Artificial Intelligence easy to adopt is critical - a key challenge for organisations is that they can't afford to wait. The MoU with HCT will address this challenge by engaging with Emirati youth, raising their awareness levels, helping drive an innovative approach and also supporting the skills development of the next generation of Emirati leaders", added Khehar.

Internship program and certification

The agreement includes cooperation in several areas. These include training programmes for students to get Oracle professional certification, as well as ‘Train the Trainer’ programme through specialised workshops for faculty of HCT and CERT. The agreement also includes cooperation with CERT to provide Oracle training courses to interested organisations and members of society, and introducing a specialised AI programme in collaboration with HCT.




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