Sharjah Ruler and SAP CEO discuss setting up a Centre of Excellence for Digital Government at AUS RTI Park

SharjahHis Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates, Ruler of Sharjah and President of American University of Sharjah (AUS) met with Bill McDermott, Chief Executive Officer of SAP, at his office in the university today, May 24,2016.

The meeting was attended by Hamid Jafar, member of the AUS Board of Trustees and Chairman of the Crescent Group; Dr. Björn Kjerfve, Chancellor of AUS; Hussain Al-Mahmoudi, Chief Executive Officer of AUS Enterprises and a number of officials from both sides.

Sheikh Dr. Sultan welcomed McDermott and his wish to cooperate with AUS, especially the intention to set up a Centre of Excellence for Digital Government to be located in the AUS Enterprise’s planned Research, Technology, and Innovation (RTI) Park. The center has the potential to accelerate Sharjah’s Digital Economy.

Sharjah organizations will be able to collaborate and cooperate with the Centre of Excellence for Digital Government on driving their respective digital transformation roadmaps. By aligning with UAE Vision 2021, which calls for innovation, research, science, and technology to be pillars of the national economy, the Centre can also support Sharjah’s diversified economic growth, led by a large number of small and medium sized enterprises and startups.

The Sharjah Ruler also briefed the Chief Executive Officer of SAP and the delegation accompanying him on the establishment and history of establishing AUS and the University City of Sharjah. AUS students came from over 90 different nationalities and yet they are living here in peace and harmony, he said.

McDermott said he was delighted to meet with His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah and appreciated his keen interest in education and research. He was also impressed by the facilities and vibrant atmosphere of the AUS campus. He said, “The Centre of Excellence for Digital Government would complement Sharjah’s vision in driving government services innovation and becoming a regional advanced research hub with a relentless focus on resource and talent. The Centre of Excellence for Digital Government will enable co-innovation among American University of Sharjah, the RTI Park technology ecosystem and a global network of technologists. By fostering an entrepreneurial culture, the Centre can help drive growth for Sharjah’s Digital Economy.”

Al-Mahmoudi, said, “SAP’s interest in the RTI Park is an important step forward in the development of this project in line with the vision of His Highness. The aim of the RTI Park is for local and global companies to benefit from both world-class facilities and academic research capabilities. Ultimately this will create opportunities for graduates and others, and for the broader economy. Sharjah e-government will help facilitate the collaboration between the Innovation Center of Excellence and various Sharjah public and private sector entities.”

SAP, the global leader by revenue in enterprise applications, and one of the world’s largest business software companies, spent over €2.8 billion in 2015 on research and development and at the end of last year held 7,224 validated patents worldwide. SAP serves 310,000 customers in 190 countries, with revenue in 2015 of €20.8 billion.

Notes to editors:

AUS Enterprises was established in late 2015 by decree of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah.

Its purpose, as set by His Highness, is to help ensure that the American University of Sharjah has the financial strength confidently to maintain and expand its leadership in teaching, learning and research for future generations.

Alongside strengthening the university’s finances in perpetuity, AUS Enterprises aims to be a catalyst for the expansion of a knowledge-based economy in Sharjah and the wider United Arab Emirates.

To achieve its purpose AUS Enterprises intends to leverage the American University of Sharjah’s leadership in education to develop and manage commercial projects in the academic, research and technology, and real estate sectors.

AUS Enterprises will develop and manage infrastructure that both enables knowledge-intensive business activity and creates a long-term sustainable revenue stream for the American University of Sharjah. In addition AUS Enterprises will develop and manage other projects that create revenue streams for the American University of Sharjah from endowments such as land in the Emirate.

AUS Enterprises is wholly-owned by the university and is led by a Board of Directors of senior university and business figures in Sharjah.