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Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University chooses Delos as strategic partner in move to develop UAE’s first innovation and economic free zone


Hamdan Bin Mohammed Smart University (HBMSU) has announced the signing of a strategic new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with global wellness pioneer Delos, to become the university’s official partner in its ongoing move to launch the Middle East region’s first innovation and economic free zone. The move falls in line with Dubai University Free Zones strategy, which aims to promote the emirate as a regional hub for youth support and the development of newer education curriculums and concepts based on innovation and technology. The newly formed alliance is being seen as an important addition to the network of international partnerships that HBMSU continues to maintain in its efforts to create an educational environment supportive of economic and innovative activity, complementing its role in the race to graduate entrepreneurs instead of job seekers to achieve the objectives set forth in the 50-year charter.

According to HBMSU senior officials, the partnership represents a strong push towards achieving and maintaining sustainable development through the university’s smart facilities. In fact, the MoU aims to transform HBMSU into an environment-friendly learning community that is conducive to innovation, creativity, and excellence. HBMSU is working towards building smart, interactive, and sustainable facilities to support the education of innovative and knowledgeable learners capable of creating a bright future for the country. The university also applied for a WELL certification that, if granted, will make it the first university in the Middle East to receive such recognition. HBMSU seeks to meet the certification’s health requirements through its collaboration with Delos.

Dr. Mansoor Al Awar, HBMSU Chancellor, said, “We welcome this new partnership with Delos, which is expected to play a key role in our move to launch the first innovative and economic free zone in the UAE. We are excited be working closely with them according to the criteria of ‘Dubai’s strategy for free university zones’ that was launched by H.H Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council of Dubai and President of the HBMSU, to promote the role of academic institutions supporting the national efforts towards establishing a new generation of creative and qualified graduates who can guide the country’s path towards embracing a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship—falling in line with the visions of the ‘50-year Charter,’ which clearly embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the best city in the world.”

Dr. Al Awar also took note of the importance of establishing a strong strategic partnership with Delos, which is a welcome and valuable addition to the university’s string of achievements. The MoU will bolster HBMSU’s efforts to meet the highest education standards to cement its position as one of the best smart universities in the world. According to him, the agreement is aligned with the university’s ‘Together We Grow’ vision, which compliments the mission of re-engineering the future of higher education through new education tools and guidelines based on innovation, technology disruption and transformation. Dr. Al Awar added that having a sustainable campus is also in response to the directives of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and President of the University, to support the national environmental sustainability efforts for the sake of the future generations.

Dr. Al Awar added: “We remain highly confident in this key alliance with a leading global company like Delos as we continue to adopt the best sustainability practices. HBMSU is employing and adopting innovation to provide unique and creative health solutions for the overall well-being of our faculty members, administrative employees, and learners under the guidance of H.H. Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, who has made innovation the center of the UAE’s sustainable development approach. The new partnership will transform the campus into a sustainable and integrated environment that prioritizes the people’s health and well-being. HBMSU will consistently adopt advanced systems to make our building sustainable, solidify our leadership in preparing for the future, and be ahead of other international universities by 10 years.”

“Our application for the WELL certification reflects our continued commitment to meet the highest international standards and adoption of the best industry practices in the field of sustainability and innovation. The certificate represents a world standard tool that recognizes integrated buildings possessing environment-friendly designs, which support the individuals’ health, well-being, and happiness. We are committed to collaborate with the research and scientific team of Delos to ensure that the health requirements are met. Having sustainable and secure building will help improve the quality of life of our learners, faculty, and administrative staff in line with the global standards,” Dr. Al Awar concluded.

From his side, Paul Scialla, Founder and CEO of Delos said “Delos is proud to have the opportunity to be a key member of this university lead research-business collaboration and at the same time is honored to be selected by this prestigious institution. The intersection of smarter and healthier buildings, through the use of people centered health and building data, is a unique and powerful opportunity to positively impact people wherever they work, live and learn.”

Paul adds: “Delos has participated in many research initiatives and collaborations, including our establishment of the Well Living Lab in collaboration with the Mayo Clinic, and we are excited that HBMSU will be our first knowledge collaboration in EMEA. We share HBMSU’s vision of helping create enhanced indoor environments.”

Paul reinforces: “This is not theoretical. The research that will be performed as part of this collaboration will be designed to directly inform and shape the implementation of solutions in the workplace designed to enhance our health, wellbeing and performance.”

The two sides agreed to incorporate an innovative healthy feature in the design and development of the university campus, using the latest innovative technologies, advanced methodologies and sustainable materials to promote the learners’ health and well-being, in addition to utilizing comfortable designs, advanced air and water purification systems, and lighting technologies. The move is aligned with their goals to leverage technological innovations to improve the quality of life in local communities and ensure a better future for the coming generations.

The agreement between HBMSU and Delos will also cover applied research in which data relating to health and wellness in the workplace and other indoor environments will be collected. The university will provide a dedicated space and facilities on-site where Delos experts can conduct research activities as well. Both will promote the results of the research works. The two sides also agreed to unify their efforts in the field of entrepreneurship to help advance the career development of HBMSU learners and other community members. Their collaboration will also focus on the development and delivery of business solutions to local and international institutions and entities.

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