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ASU, UAE partner for global decision-making platform

November 24, 2009

Arizona State University is partnering with the United Arab Emirates on a decision platform designed to provide real-world, knowledge-driven decision support, planning and action-oriented outcomes to some of the most critical challenges confronting our nations and the world today.

A delegation of high-ranking officials from Abu Dhabi, UAE, came to ASU's Tempe campus in November as a follow-up to a series of recent of meetings in the UAE with ASU President Michael Crow, Vice President for Research and Economic Affairs R.F. “Rick” Shangraw and other ASU representatives. During that visit, the ASU delegation offered a series of proposals for collaborative projects, including creation of a Global Decision Network located in the UAE. The network would be based on the ASU Decision Theater, an innovative research facility designed to address shared challenges and explore a new decision-making landscape through the application of focused research within a flexible platform.

“The UAE is positioned among the most important countries in a critical region of the world,” said Crow. “A cutting-edge initiative like the Global Decision Network will create and advance a set of innovative processes and tools to help regional leaders and decision makers in both the UAE and Arizona address some of the most complex economic, social and environmental challenges we face today while building toward a more sustainable global future.”

The Global Decision Network will move beyond traditional disciplinary boundaries to link science, technology and principles of objectivity to the process of decision-making through the design and application of advanced analytic and systems-modeling tools and the integration of decision makers’ needs at all levels of the process. With founding centers and hubs in Abu Dhabi and Arizona, the network can expand to incorporate new partners, talents and creativity in regions across the globe.

“This is really about the application of state-of-the-art scientific knowledge to real-world problem-solving,” said Shangraw. “We live in a complex world. The Decision Network not only will be a means of finding the best solutions to manage current problems, but also will function as an international learning center to train the next generation of leaders and decision makers and build future decision-making capacity on a global scale.”

The UAE delegation had the opportunity to view ASU’s Decision Theater in action with presentations focused on university efforts in the areas of sustainability, urban planning, water resource management and public health crisis preparation.

The group also met with President Crow and Vice President Rick Shangraw to discuss next steps to move the initiative forward. ASU will work directly with the Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council to develop a plan and time frame for advancing the Global Decision Network.

The ASU team will include the Office of Research and Economic Affairs, the Global Institute of Sustainability, Decision Theater and Decision Center for a Desert City.

Gitzel Puente,
ASU Research and Economic Affairs