First edition of UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good set to open for entries to US$1 million contest

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum


The Organising Committee of the first edition of the US$1 million ‘UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good’ has announced that it will start receiving submissions for the award from June 15, 2015. The award, which is open to individuals, teams, universities and companies from around the world, also offers AED 1 million for the winner at the national level. The winners will be honoured at a special ceremony in February 2016 before the fourth Government Summit.

The ‘UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good’ aims to encourage research and applications of innovative solutions in artificial intelligence and robotics to meet existing challenges in three key categories: health, education and social services. It also aims to promote public awareness about the positive opportunities offered by these applications and turn the innovative ideas into reality to develop services provided by the UAE Government.

On this occasion, His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, said the UAE looks to artificial intelligence and robotics as a strategic and promising sector in view of the economic and scientific opportunities it holds, and its importance as one of the key areas of research and development in the biggest economies of the world.

His Highness said the ‘UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good’ is one of the main initiatives that supports innovation in this advanced sector, and is part of the commitment to implement the targets of the National Innovation Strategy launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world by the year 2021.

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan said the award offers the first of its kind global platform for innovation, focusing on the practical side of this technology in areas of much relevance to the society such as health, education and social services. His Highness said the Award will play an integral role along with other government initiatives in the field of robotics, such as the Mohammed Bin Zayed International Robotics Challenge (MBZIRC) which was launched last February under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.

“We expect that the national universities will play a major role in the success of this global event by encouraging students to be involved in research and development, and compete with the most advanced universities and research institutions in the world,” His Highness said. Such competitions will help share experiences and raise the level of innovation, particularly in the student community, His Highness said.

The Award will continue to receive submissions in the International and National competitions until November 1, 2015. Those interested in participating can register through the Award website ( along with submissions of their videos and proposals. The proposals will be reviewed by a judging panel of global experts following which 10 applicants from each category in the International and National competitions will be selected for the next round which will be announced on November 22, 2015.

The semi-finalists will then be brought to Dubai to present a working prototype and give a live demonstration of their ideas in front of the panel of judges, which includes high-profile experts and specialists in artificial intelligence and robots technologies. The members of the panel of judges will be announced at a later date.

Applicants must be able to demonstrate a working prototype for the final stage of the competition, offering a genuine service or solution to a real human need. They should suggest new ways of improving an existing service using robotics and artificial intelligence, or offer new kinds of services that could be implemented practically and economically through these technologies. In addition, the projects should be semi – or fully autonomous, as well innovative, futuristic and use the most advanced civilian technology available. They should also be safe, effective and economical.

Individuals, teams, universities and companies are eligible to participate in both the National and International competitions. UAE citizens and residents may choose to participate in either the National Competition or the International Competition while contestants who are not UAE citizens or residents are eligible to participate only in the International Competition.

The ‘UAE AI & Robotics Award for Good’ was launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan during the third Government Summit in February 2015, as one of the initiatives of International Council on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, which was formed in collaboration with the World Economic Forum during Global Agenda Council hosted by the UAE Government last year. The Council includes thought leaders from the largest universities and the most important companies and institutions around the world. It aims to offer advice on the best ways to use robots and artificial intelligence to improve human life and work on a global strategy for the use of robots in several key sectors.

To enter the UAE AI & Robotics for Good Award click here.