UAE sovereign wealth fund ADIA to launch new data lab

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The Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), the largest sovereign wealth fund in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), plans to open an advanced data research center, an independent entity within the fund with goals not linked to investment applications.

ADIA Lab will formally launch on December 2 and is part of moves across the government to promote digitalization and advanced technological applications. It will be headed by Simon Horst as director, who was previously at Berkeley Lab and at the US Department of Energy.

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The lab’s launch will bring together global experts in the data and computational science fields “while helping to embed a scientific mindset throughout its organization,” ADIA, estimated by Global SWF to manage $829 billion in assets, said in a statement.

Research applications will focus on areas such as climate change and energy transition, blockchain technology, financial inclusion and investing, and cybersecurity among others.

The UAE is trying to diversify its economy away from hydrocarbons and investing in increasing the contribution of digital innovation and advanced technology to overall economic growth.

It is also seeking to attract high skilled professionals globally in these and other data science-led sectors.

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