Tuesday 29 September 2020 - 9:29:41 am

'Year of Preparations for the Next Fifty Years' will contribute to country’s development process


ABU DHABI, 3rd August, 2020 (WAM) -- In 2020, the UAE’s achievements, most notably the launch of the Hope Probe to Mars and the operation of Unit 1 of the Barakah Nuclear Power Plant, have proven that the "Year of Preparations for the Next Fifty Years" will significantly contribute to the country’s development process.

Despite the difficult circumstances facing the world caused by the coronavirus, COVID-19, pandemic, the UAE has succeeded in turning challenges into opportunities for innovation and development, which is reflected in its approach to limiting the spread of the virus through a range of creative measures, such as developing technology to discover the virus using lasers that generate results in a record time, using stem cell therapy for patients, and participating in global efforts to find a vaccine.

In 2020, the UAE’s achievements reflect the national ambitions and wisdom of its leadership. The Hope Probe project involved nearly 200 Emirati engineers and researchers, who worked hard for six years to fulfil the UAE's dream to reach the Red Planet.

The Barakah Nuclear Power Plant also highlights the UAE’s efforts to build the capacities of national cadres in this sector. Nearly 244 employees work for the Federal Authority for Nuclear Regulation, FANR, with 67 percent being Emiratis, of which 45 percent are in leading and managerial positions. Women also account for over 40 percent of the Authority’s employees.

Once all four units of the plant are commercially operating, the UAE's Barakah Nuclear Energy Plant will produce up to 25 percent of the country's electricity requirements while in parallel preventing the release of 21 million tons of carbon emissions each year.

On the level of combating COVID-19, Emirati national cadres and institutions joined the front line since the first day to discover the first case in the country, and contributed to achieving milestones at the global level.

In May, a patent was granted by the Ministry of Economy for the development of an innovative and promising treatment for COVID-19 infections using stem cells. The treatment was developed by a team of doctors and researchers at the Abu Dhabi Stem Cell Center, ADSCC, and involves extracting stem cells from the patient’s own blood and reintroducing them after activating them.

QuantLase Imaging Lab, the medical-research arm of the Abu Dhabi Stock Exchange-listed International Holdings Company, IHC, announced that it has developed novel equipment which enables for much faster mass screenings, with test results available in seconds and allowing testing on a wider scale.

The technology will reinforce the UAE’s position as a hub of research and innovation, as scientists around the world scramble to devise a faster method of testing for patients suspected to have been infected with the coronavirus and potentially identifying carriers before they become infectious.

The first World Health Organisation, WHO, enlisted global clinical Phase III trial of Sinopharm CNBG’s inactivated vaccine to combat COVID-19 started in Abu Dhabi.

The world’s first Phase III trial is the result of a cooperation partnership between Abu Dhabi based G42 Healthcare, currently at the forefront of the battle against COVID-19 in the UAE, and Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, ranked 169th on the Fortune Global 500 list of 2018.

The trials are being operated by health practitioners from Abu Dhabi Health Services, SEHA, who are providing facilities at five of their clinics in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in addition to a mobile clinic to ensure the trials are readily accessible to volunteers participating in the programme.

WAM/Tariq alfaham/MOHD AAMIR