Tamkeen launches new Cloud Innovation Centers in collaboration with AWS, University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic


Manama: The Labor Fund “Tamkeen” today announced the launch of two Cloud Innovation Centers (CICs) in collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), University of Bahrain (UoB), and Bahrain Polytechnic (BP).

The new CICs will focus on accelerating the digital transformation of the public sector in Bahrain, and across the region, by working with institutions and the next generation of technologists to use cloud technologies to solve real life challenges, and convert these challenges to opportunities that encourage entrepreneurial activities through innovation.

Held in strategic partnership with Tamkeen, this initiative is part of Tamkeen’s ongoing support for cloud skills development, the new innovation centers introduce students and faculties to Amazon’s innovation processes and give them access to cloud computing expertise, enabling them to quickly develop digital solutions for a series of challenges submitted and sponsored by local public sector organizations, referred to as ‘challenge sponsors’. These solution designs will be published on an open-source platform and made available to any individual or organization wishing to develop and deploy them for the good of Bahrainis and citizens worldwide which will allow for entrepreneurial activities in new emerging industries.

Dr. Ebrahim Mohammed Janahi, Chief Executive of Tamkeen, said “Partnering with Amazon Web Services to establish the Cloud Innovation Centers in the University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic is an important step towards digital transformation. This will ensure maximum outreach to Bahrainis to start utilizing and embedding cloud technology within their organizations and institutions.” He also adds that one of Tamkeen’s many goals is to drive innovation within the Kingdom, allowing Bahrainis the liberty to create and design feasible, smart, and sustainable solutions that would elevate and strengthen the country’s economic competitiveness through encouraging entrepreneurship.”

Teresa Carlson, Vice President, Worldwide Public Sector at AWS, said, “We have seen cloud computing transform public sectors across the world. By launching Cloud Innovation Centers powered by AWS, the University of Bahrain, Bahrain Polytechnic and Tamkeen can support the country’s digital transformation. With the recent launch of the AWS Middle East Region in Bahrain, we are bringing the most advanced cloud technologies closer to customers, students and education institutions in the region to enable them to innovate even faster and develop new products and services that solve for local needs.”

Professor Riyad Yousef Hamzeh, President of the University of Bahrain, said, “We are delighted to collaborate with AWS in establishing a Cloud Innovation Center (CIC) at the University of Bahrain. As a university, we are committed to investing in resources to foster an entrepreneurial mindset in order to inspire creativity with our students. We hope that this will create an environment to develop new ideas, products, services and increase growth of SMEs for the benefit of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Students will work in multi-disciplinary teams using next generation cloud computing technologies from AWS to develop innovative solutions that solve real world challenges.”

Dr. Jeff Zabudsky, CEO of Bahrain Polytechnic, said “Bringing a CIC to Bahrain Polytechnic allows us to implement AWS’s advanced cloud technologies within our institution and empower our students and staff to utilize these tools to solve some of the most pressing challenges within the public sector. As we head into a world of digitization, the CIC will also help our students acquire the in-demand cloud computing skills, ensuring that they are equipped with the requirements of today’s labor market.”

The new CICs at the University of Bahrain and Bahrain Polytechnic join eight others around the world at California Polytechnic University Digital Transformation Hub and Arizona State University Smart City CIC (both in the USA), Munich University of Applied Sciences (MUAS) Digital Transformation Lab and CODE University of Applied Sciences Better Future Lab (both in Germany) Sciences Po Public Innovation Lab (France), Busan City CIC (South Korea), Swinburne Data for Social Good CIC (Australia) and the University of British Columbia Community Health and Wellbeing CIC (Canada).

Any entity that supplies or operated as a public sector, education and non-profit organization is invited to submit their challenges to either the UoB CIC at [email protected] or Bahrain Polytechnic CIC at [email protected] from January 1st 2020.

Founded in 2006, Tamkeen exists to drive forward Bahrain’s economic growth and development. Underlying this important vision, Tamkeen was formed to pave the way for Bahrain’s ongoing diversification to a technology-driven, knowledge-based, globally competitive and sustainable economy.

With over 330 different initiatives underway, Tamkeen has served more than 234,000 Bahraini individuals and businesses to date.

Founded in 1986, the University of Bahrain is the Kingdom’s largest university with over 30,000 students, more than 800 academics and an administrative staff exceeding 2,000 across its two campuses in Sakhir and Isa Town.

Working with AWS Educate, UOB will introduce a Cloud Computing bachelor’s degree program and a Cloud Computing Certificate in 2020. This initiative will support Cloud-Computing capacity building within the Middle East and the collaboration, also announced at AWS Summit Bahrain 2019, will be supported by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB) who are integral to employer engagement and support within the partnership.

Founded in 2008 by Royal Decree, Bahrain Polytechnic is a tertiary education institute located in the Kingdom of Bahrain. The institution is considered a key contributor to the delivery of the Kingdom’s 2030 vision. The polytechnic delivers applied learning, technical education, skills-based and occupational training and qualifications ranging from certified courses and diplomas to bachelor's degrees.

Bahrain Polytechnic is located in Isa Town, on the same site as the University of Bahrain's engineering and applied sciences colleges.