Abu Dhabi's Mubadala Investment Company visits University of Birmingham to explore potential research and innovation ties

Sarah Kilroy, Head of Conservation and Programming at the Cadbury Research Library, University of Birmingham, shows the Birmingham Qur’an Manuscript to Waleed Al Muhairi, Mubadala’s Deputy Group CEO and Chief Executive Officer.

Representatives from Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi-based investment and development company, visited the University of Birmingham to discover the University’s research strengths and explore potential opportunities to establish investment and partnership ties.

Mubadala operates across 13 sectors, including technology, advanced manufacturing, renewables and healthcare to help transform the UAE's economy and deliver sustainable financial returns.

The visitors from Mubadala learned about Birmingham’s strengths in innovation, life sciences and medicine, energy storage and battery recycling, as well as viewing the world-famous Birmingham Qur’an manuscript.

Organised by the UK Department of International Trade, the visit saw Mubadala representatives joined by UK Ambassador to the UAE, Phillip Parham. The group also met officials from Birmingham City Council.

University of Birmingham Provost Professor Tim Jones, said: “The University of Birmingham was delighted to welcome Mubadala to our campus so as they could learn about our research expertise in a range of important fields where we have overlapping interests.

“We are a global civic university and committed to delivering education and research that creates life-enhancing impact – at home and around the world. Opening our campus in Dubai and working with the UAE Government, for example, on its Happiness project illustrates our commitment to contributing to UAE society.”

The delegation was greeted by Professor Jones, University of Birmingham Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Transfer Professor Tim Softley and Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Strategic Partnerships Tariq Ali.

Led by Waleed Al Muhairi, Mubadala’s Deputy Group CEO & Chief Executive Officer, Alternative Investments and Infrastructure, the delegates met a number of leading University academics including Dean of Medicine Professor David Adams; Dr John Williams, Managing Director of Birmingham Health Partners; Professor Martin Freer, Head of Physics and Astronomy; and Director of the Hub for Quantum Technology in Sensors and Metrology Professor Kai Bongs.

In addition to Waleed Al Muhairi, the Mubadala delegation was made up of senior representatives from the company, including; Matthew Hurn, Executive Director, CFO Alternative Investments & Infrastructure; Ali Al Mehairi, Executive Director of Mubadala Real Estate and Infrastructure; Abdulla Al Shamshi, Head of Mubadala Healthcare; Saeed Al Mazrouei, Executive Director, Mergers & Acquisitions; and Rashed Al Harmoodi, Senior Vice President and Head of External Corporate Relations.

British Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates Philip Parham said: "I was very pleased to join this visit. It was an excellent opportunity for a world-class university and a world-class investment company to learn about each other and begin to explore possible areas of collaboration. Likewise, Mubadala's engagement with the world-class city of Birmingham and the wider West Midlands region earlier in the day."

Members of the group were also given a private viewing of the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript, which is held in the Special Collections section of the University’s Cadbury Research Library. One of the world’s surviving Islamic manuscripts, the script is considered a global treasure.

The University of Birmingham took a major interactive exhibition telling the fascinating story of the Birmingham Qur’an to Abu Dhabi in November. Visitors to the exhibition at Umm Al Emarat Park, Abu Dhabi, were able to explore the manuscript in digital form, as well as viewing a detailed replica of the holy script.

The exhibition returns to the UAE when it opens in Dubai’s Design District on 19 April – running through to 3 May 2018.

ENDS

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Notes to Editors:

• The University of Birmingham is ranked among the world's top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
• A remarkable fragment of history, the Birmingham Qur’an manuscript is part of the University’s Mingana Collection of Middle Eastern manuscripts. It consists of two leaves containing parts of Suras (chapters) 18 to 20 and dates back to the seventh century. It is written in Hijazi, an early form of Arabic script.
• Representatives from Dubai’s Ministry of Health and Prevention visited Birmingham in November to meet Vice-Chancellor Professor Sir David Eastwood and co-sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the University of Birmingham.
• The MoU will see academic experts across a range of social sciences disciplines working with the Ministry to identify ways in which the University can work with the ministry in boosting social and cultural cohesion in the UAE.