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University of Birmingham Dubai launches three research centres to help tackle global challenges

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New centres will tackle fields such as health, finance and inclusion to support governments and industry in policymaking and future planning.

The University of Birmingham Dubai today launched three new research centres as part of its strategic role addressing regional and global challenges in fields such as health, finance, and inclusion.

The new research centres reflect the institution’s move to becoming a research-driven campus, as well as its role as a strategic partner for governments within the UAE and wider Middle East region, conducting cutting-edge research to help inform decision-makers.

Rasha Bayoumi, Head of Research for the Dubai campus, said:

“In the pursuit of our mission to connect, create and grow for a global future, we have mapped our institutional research goals and aspirations with the UAE’s key priorities to fulfil our civic engagement in our new home in Dubai. The University of Birmingham Dubai seeks to become a leading research-oriented campus among higher education institutions in the Middle East and North Africa region.”

The three research centres are the Sustainable Financial Innovation Centre (SIFC), the Health Systems Management Centre (HSMC), and the Centre for Inclusion Studies (CIS). They will each leverage the extensive academic expertise in both the University of Birmingham’s Dubai and UK campuses. Researchers will coordinate their efforts under a single research strategy that aims to arm governments and businesses with vital information and recommendations to help them navigate challenges and develop policies.

Dina Kiwan, College of Social Sciences (CoSS) Deputy Director for Research at the University of Birmingham said:

“Dubai is fast emerging as a global research hub and a platform where concrete solutions to global challenges are forged. The University of Birmingham Dubai has already established itself as an important part of the UAE’s research and education ecosystem, and with our new centres, we are pursuing research that impacts society, particularly in emerging markets. The new centres will connect researchers from our two campuses, linking the outstanding reputation and century-long experience of our UK campus with our world-leading capabilities and innovative facilities in Dubai.”

As well as conducting research and developing proposals for external funding, the centres will host public facing events to engage stakeholders across government and industry. Each centre has developed its own proposals with strategic aims for outputs and impact. The centres underpin the University of Birmingham Dubai’s research development strategy and will extend the institution’s scope in the region.

The SFIC, led by Professor Hisham Farag, will focus on Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), as well as developments in alternative finance, for instance fintech and green finance. The HSMC remit, led by Dr Ross Millar and Dr Ayat Abu Agla, will support health policy research and development, and put policy into practice. The CIS, led by Dr Sarah Benson and supported by Professor Karen Guldberg and Professor Dina Kiwan, will address priorities under the theme of ‘inclusion for life’ in education, the workplace and the community.

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