Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Intel to set up smart city development laboratory in Dubai

Steve Rogerson
May 6, 2015
Intel is to set up an IoT laboratory and smart city centre of excellence in the Middle East in a joint project with the Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA).
The Dubai Silicon Oasis is an integrated free zone technology park. The DSOA has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Intel to establish jointly a first of a kind lab facility in the Middle East, that will support the development of a smart city centre of excellence and innovation within the Dubai Technology Entrepreneurship centre (DTec), DSOA’s wholly owned technology incubation centre which is expected to be launched soon.
The MoU was signed by Mohammed Alzarooni, vice chairman and CEO of the DSOA, and Taha Khalifa, regional director at Intel.
As a strategic partner of Dubai’s smart city initiative, the DSOA is mandated to provide a physical site to host the lab with the objective of developing a smart city centre of excellence and innovation within a functional workspace fitted out with standard office equipment. Furthermore, the DSOA will be responsible for supporting the lab’s objectives through attracting the local innovation community in the UAE and engaging them to develop their talents through a range of workshops and training components.
For its part, Intel will be responsible for managing and operating the joint lab facility with a number of full-time employees. Intel will also provide all hardware, software and computing equipment and technology required for operating the joint lab. Additionally, Intel will be showcasing demos of relevant IoT technologies for both internal lab purposes and external visitor viewing. Furthermore, the chip giant will be responsible for appropriate on-site tests and the development of several IoT platforms.
“We are proud of our collaboration with Intel in developing a joint lab facility that will provide a range of services to support the local innovation community,” said Alzarooni. “The facility – which is the first of its kind in the Middle East – will also function as a platform to run proof concepts of smart city initiatives for any Dubai government entities or private sector organisations. The lab will also play a fundamental role in spreading the know-how and offering hands-on training through Intel’s start-up kits that will be demonstrated to school and university students alike”.
He said the DSOA smart city committee met with Intel representatives on various occasions to explore new opportunities that would create a value proposition for both parties.
“We then worked on the initial MoU that will support DSOA’s technology focus and ecosystem, while providing Intel with the space to share its expertise and reach the tech community in the UAE and wider region,” he said.
Intel’s Khalifa added: “The advances and initiatives that are driven in Dubai around smart cities are world leading and we are thrilled to be part of these leading projects. This innovative public-private collaboration will use Intel’s IoT smart city demonstration platform to further develop the government’s vision for Dubai. As a technology company, we will leverage our expertise and advanced end-to-end solutions to enable efficient use of resources and realise the many untapped possibilities of the IoT. We’re powering the IoT future and driving improvements in everything from air and water quality to transportation, communication, and energy management systems.”
The Smart Dubai Initiative comprises six key dimensions – smart economy, smart lifestyle, smart transportation, smart governance, smart environment and smart generation – and relies on the three basic principles of communications, integration and cooperation. Through encouraging collaboration between the public and private sectors, the strategy aims to transform Dubai into one of the world’s smartest cities over the next three years through the roll-out of 100 initiatives and 1000 smart services that improve the quality of life in the city.
A wholly owned entity of the government of Dubai, the Dubai Silicon Oasis operates as a free zone technology park for large enterprises, medium and small companies looking to set up their offices in Dubai.