Dubai Future Labs

Dubai Future Labs develops breakthrough innovations

Dubai Future Labs (DFL) is an advanced applied research and development (R&D) laboratory established by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), specialising in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI). DFL researchers, scientists and engineers are developing various future technologies, from autonomous vehicles and hospital ventilators to drones for last-mile logistics.

These technological tests are not just feats of skill that contribute to the development of vital industries. They represent groundbreaking innovations that are transforming the city and redefining how people will live in the future. DFL’s work is central to DFF’s mission to shape the future through envisioning and positioning Dubai as the leading city of the future.

DFL is the incubator for the ‘Dubai Robotics and Automation Programme’, launched in September 2022 by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council and Chairman of the Dubai Future Foundation Board of Trustees, with the aim of taking Dubai to the top 10 cities for the adoption and development of robotics and automation technology and increasing the sector’s contribution to Dubai’s GDP to 9% in 10 years.

Launched in the midst of the COVID-19 DFL pandemic, Project M061 confronted one of the greatest challenges of the 21st century, reflecting Dubai’s unwavering commitment to creating a better future in the face of adversity.

As a platform for designing, developing and testing cutting-edge technologies to put scientific research and data into practice in real-world settings, the Dubai Future Labs has helped accelerate the implementation of cutting-edge robotics, artificial intelligence and automation solutions at a critical time.

During the pandemic, for example, the team focused on a project to combat the shortage of ventilators. The M061 project, which was overseen by 25 experts, developed ventilators that used readily available components that could be easily obtained, assembled and deployed. The updated prototype is due to be unveiled later this year, when certification is also expected.

Dubai Future Labs

With global supply chains under strain, the DFL is also helping to address logistics challenges. DFL has partnered with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and other major partners to develop the first food delivery service using drones, which can be expanded through greater efficiency.

Autonomy and drones are key focus areas for Dubai Future Labs. Together with the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, the company has created an area for drone operators and technology that facilitates testing and certification. Working with food delivery aggregators, air cargo operators and healthcare providers, DFL is analysing the full range of drone technologies to harness their potential.

“Dubai Future Labs offers a wide range of opportunities for experts, scientists and innovators. These include working alongside our technical team on our projects, gaining fellowship status and working as an intern. Each of these opportunities is hugely rewarding, and we invite talented people from the UAE and abroad to join us to make significant contributions to the technologies and solutions that will define our future,” explained Khalifa Al Qama, Director of Dubai Future Labs.

Since its inception, DFL has positioned itself as a laboratory that creates solutions to real-world problems. Crucially, the lab addresses the changing needs of people and communities. Rather than predetermining the direction of innovation, DFL works with public and private sector partners to develop projects with tangible impact.

DFL’s model of providing technical support and research capacity is unique in the region. The concept has an important place in helping governments, different economic sectors and segments of society to develop and better meet consumer demands.

All interested organisations, futurists and entrepreneurs can collaborate with Dubai Future Labs to conduct research and development activities and propose solutions based on AI and 4IR. Individuals can also apply to the DFL’s training and fellowship programme, where they will become part of the lab community and gain valuable hands-on experience. People can also apply to the DFL Internship Programme, which promotes career development.

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