Fitting with this year’s MOSAIC theme “The Spirit of Scientific Discovery”, Sharjah Higher Colleges of Technology (SHCT) held its Sixth Annual Business Conference on February 21, 2012 at SWC’s Tanweer Hall.
Exploring the theme of “The Business of Science”, the one-day conference featured presentations by a number of representatives of UAE industry and business sectors; interactive workshops and panel discussions; all revolving around the importance of science and technology in the development of business.
A large group of HCT students, faculty and administrative staff attended the conference. In addition, an impressive book exhibition by Kinokuniya and Pearson provided attendees with the latest business book.
Ms. Lauralee Kilgour, Associate Dean for College Services, opened the conference and confirmed the strategic role of science in opening new business opportunities.
“It is often through the most unexpected ways that sciences provide us with business opportunities. We are living in a wonderful age of advanced science and technology. Wherever we are, we don’t have to look very far to see how digital technology is changing our environment. Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…are all familiar examples of the convergence between science and business,” she said.
The keynote speaker Mr. Khaled Al Huraimel, Chief Executive Officer of Bee’ah, summarized the Bee’ah project, highlighting how the company has turned its mission to protect the environment into a profitable business.
“Bee’ah was established in 2007 to lead environmental change in the region starting in Sharjah. There are a lot of environmental challenges in the region from the air quality to the water quality but Bee’ah has initially focused on the problem of waste, as the UAE is one of highest generators of waste in the world. In the last few years Bee’ah has moved into building infrastructure to resolve this problem and has set a target of achieving zero-waste in Sharjah by 2015,” Mr. Al Huraimel explained.
Mr. Wayne Hull, Director and General Manager for Cisco in the UAE, delivered the second address around the topic of “Driving innovation for competitive advantage”, exploring how technology is changing our lives and improving business leadership at Cisco.
He described how “we are living in a world which is called the Internet of Things”.
“We’ll have more connectivity to devices in the world over the next 10 years than we have people. Every technology device that we visually see or use will be connected to the Internet. There is an information explosion happening in the world that we live. It is our responsibility to be able to use that information knowledge wisely for the benefit of humanity,” Mr. Hull added.
Speakers at the conference afternoon sessions included Dr. Steven Griffiths, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives and Professor of Chemical Engineering at the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology; Mr. Richard Escoe, CEO of Bio-Style Farms and Managing Director at Liwa Farms; Ms. Rafeef Dahir, SHCT Career Advisor; Ms. Michele Haddad, SHCT Supervisor of Marketing and Outreach Programs, as well as Dr. Konrad Gunesch, SHCT Business Faculty.
Discussions in the breakout sessions centered on the business of renewable energy, the challenges and opportunities related to the business of organic farming, leadership skills for business success and the effective role of culture in business.
The Business conference was sponsored by Al Alali, Pepsico International and “At The Top – Burj Khalifa”.