GENEVA: The International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) of the United Arab Emirates, signed an agreement on 29 June 2020 to establish an International Centre of Digital Innovation, known as I-CoDI.
I-CoDI will help ITU Members, Sector Members and other key stakeholders to integrate innovation into their national development agendas and activities. The Centre, to be based in Geneva, Switzerland, will also have a virtual component.
Innovation is at the heart of the digital revolution and an essential part of the fabric of ITU,” said ITU Secretary-General Houlin Zhao. “We welcome the decision by the TRA, a long-standing partner of ITU, to establish its future International Centre of Digital Innovation in Geneva. It will help catalyse efforts to turn today’s digital revolution into a development revolution for all.”
The growing digital innovation divide is at the heart of the digital divide,” said Doreen Bogdan-Martin, Director of the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau. “Innovation has been recognized as a powerful engine for promoting development, addressing socio-economic challenges and increasing the overall competitiveness of countries. I look forward to working closely with the TRA to establish I-CoDI and contributing to the development of innovation strategies to accelerate digital transformation and the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development”.
The I-CoDI design phase will be completed by the end of 2020.
H.E. Hamad Obaid Al Mansoori, Director General of the TRA, said that “this experience reflects the success of innovation and creativity policies pursued by the UAE, which resulted in hundreds of projects and initiatives that contributed to achieving the UAE’s leading position in innovation. The UAE is no longer a country that imports ideas, but rather a source of innovation and success in various sectors.”
I-CoDI builds on CoDI, the Centre of Digital Innovation (CoDI) launched by the UAE in 2013, as part of the UAE’s efforts in digital transformation and enhancing the digital journey of the UAE citizens and Government, through research, innovation, education, training, skills development, quality assurance and of advisory services.
Engineer Majid Almadhloum, Director of CoDI at the TRA, stressed the importance of this initiative and added that “ITU’s aim to transfer the experience of CoDI indicates its uniqueness and importance in serving the goals of global societies aimed at achieving sustainable development and digital transformation. We are proud of our accomplishments to this day, and we will continue working to achieve more success.”
At the 2014 World Telecommunication Development Conference (WTDC-14), Member States mandated the ITU Telecommunication Development Bureau to strengthen ITU membership capabilities to integrate ICT‑centric innovation in their national development agendas and promote a culture of innovation through enhanced partnership and a multi-stakeholder cooperation in a converged ICT ecosystem.