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NYU Abu Dhabi receives grant to advance growth, development of its AI initiatives

NYU Abu Dhabi receives grant to advance growth, development of its AI initiatives
15 May 2024 15:07


NYU Abu Dhabi (NYUAD) announced on Wednesday the receipt of a generous grant from famed investor and philanthropist Alan Howard.

The donation will be used to establish the Alan Howard Distinguished Professorship in Artificial Intelligence (AI), and the Alan Howard Global PhD Fellowship in AI.

The aim is to support the development of local talent and preparing them for jobs of the future.

NYUAD Professor of Electrical Engineering Anthony Tzes will hold the inaugural Alan Howard Distinguished Professorship.

Notably, Tzes leads the University's Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics (CAIR), advancing groundbreaking research and applications in AI and robotics.

Furthermore, his research has been funded by NASA, the National Science Foundation, the European Union, and the European Space Agency.

Howard’s donation follows the establishment of Brevan Howard’s regional headquarters in Abu Dhabi’s ADGM last year.

The investment firm, which he co-founded over two decades ago, has more than 80 employees in the emirate and has established a local graduate programme to foster the development of young talent, recruiting from local educational institutions including NYUAD.

NYUAD Vice Chancellor Mariët Westermann said, “We would like to extend our deepest thanks to Mr. Howard for the generous gift, which represents a significant milestone for NYU Abu Dhabi. The investment serves as a vote of confidence in the ability of NYU Abu Dhabi and the UAE to help shape the future of AI research and innovation, enhancing NYUAD’s strong position in AI research and serving as a vital tool in the region’s future development.”

At NYUAD, AI fuels research across clusters of excellence in Science, Engineering, Social Science, and the Arts, with the University’s scientists, scholars, and artists playing a significant role in the AI revolution.

Signature initiatives in AI research include the Center for Artificial Intelligence and Robotics, Center for Cybersecurity, Center for Quantum and Topological Systems, CaMEL Lab for natural language processing in Arabic, the Public Health Research Center, and Center for Genomics and Systems Biology.

NYUAD connects AI innovation to youth through the annual NYUAD International Hackathon for Social Good, the largest university hackathon in the region.

The event brings together computer science and engineering professors, startup founders, technology professionals, and venture capitalists to guide teams of computer science students from all over the world to create quantum computing and AI applications for social good, in fields from health and education to sustainability, music, and transportation.

These initiatives are designed to contribute to global innovation in AI and are well aligned with the UAE’s 2071 Centennial Plan to diversify and shift to a skills-based knowledge economy.

NYUAD participates in the active efforts of universities and organisations in the country to develop cutting-edge AI across sectors and equip the next generation with the skills and capabilities needed for a thriving economy and society.

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