Khalifa University and Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri recently launched their new scholarship and training programme at the University's Abu Dhabi campus. The new programme is aimed at supporting the UAE naval industry by training and educating human capital. The event was attended by Liborio Stellino, the Italian Ambassador to the UAE, as well as Khalifa University's senior management and members of Fincantieri.
The programme will benefit select Emirati students and is the first of its kind in the UAE. To date, ten students have already taken part in the first round of training, sponsored by Fincantieri, at its premises in Italy, in May and June. The internships, which were organised in collaboration with CETENA, an Italian Ship Research Centre, were six weeks long and aimed at developing the students' skills in naval engineering and architecture through theoretical classes, practical training and visits to Fincantieri's state-of-the-art facilities in Genova, La Spezia and Monfalcone.
The programme will also benefit Fincantieri, which is currently serving the UAE Navy through logistic support and maintenance services, by providing the human capital for its Abu Dhabi based joint venture, Etihad Ship Building.
"This collaboration will certainly benefit not just Khalifa University students and Fincantieri, but the UAE's Navy and overall naval economy," said Dr. Tod Laursen, Khalifa University's President. "Partnerships between academia and industry are vital for providing the human capital and know how needed to continuously expand the UAE's economy and push forward areas of key development. We look forward to seeing how our students benefit from this cooperation, as much as they look forward to the exciting international internships and scholarship opportunities."
Fincantieri expressed its support of the UAE's rich maritime tradition and its place as a strategic hub for the entire region in infrastructure development. Fincantieri said that it was proud to be part of the economic growth of the GCC area and is well aware that young people, like the students that participated in the training in Italy, can make it happen.