Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, on Wednesday met with the committee of the Great Arab Minds initiative.
Launched in January last year, the Dh100 million ($27.22 million) programme will identify and develop the 1,000 brightest Arabs in physics and mathematics, software and data science, economics and higher education and research.
Dubai's Museum of the Future will be used as a base for the programme, which will be overseen by four cabinet ministers.
Sheikh Mohammed this week highlighted the potential of Arab talent to lead scientific and cultural advances.
“We recognise the importance of fostering opportunities for creative Arab talent and supporting them in utilising research, development and technologies to shape a brighter future for humanity," he said.
"The UAE will continue to serve as a hub for exceptional talents, including scientists, doctors, writers, thinkers, researchers and innovators.”
During the meeting, Sheikh Mohammed was briefed on the initiative’s nomination and evaluation process.
Since its launch, the initiative has received thousands of nominations from scientific and research communities, universities and institutions from across the world for scientists, researchers and individuals with scientific contributions.
Candidates are required to meet specific criteria to qualify for the Great Arab Minds Awards.
They are required to show a constructive representation of Arab identity in their community, display creative and inventive ideas, demonstrate proficiency in their field and serve as a positive influence and mentor for Arab youth.
A judging committee has been formed to evaluate nominations in six categories, which include natural sciences; architecture and design; engineering and technology; economics; literature and arts; and medicine.
KPMG, with sector-based specialists, have been commissioned to oversee the selection stage.
Dh100 million budget
During the next phase, interviews will be conducted with the award nominees.
The initiative has a budget of Dh100 million to support and empower innovative and talented Arabs, providing opportunities for success, creativity, and achievement in their respective countries.
The initiative is intended to combat the increasing brain-drain movement in the Arab region by encouraging talented individuals to stay in their home countries and make the most of the available resources.
It seeks to help Arab thought leaders, scholars, and scientists translate their ideas into real-life breakthroughs and solutions.
It also strives to empower a cluster of Arab scientists and thinkers, as well as build a network of exceptional talent in various fields.