HE Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), inaugurated the new Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids, in Washington DC. Made possible through a $30 million gift grant presented by Abu Dhabi, the Campus aims to maximise research capabilities to regularly advance and develop pediatric treatments and solutions that are lifesaving to children around the world.

In a continuous bid to elevate pediatric care, the Research and Innovation Campus hosts researchers, universities, companies, and a rare-disease institute, all working to find solutions for some of the most challenging pediatric diseases and conditions. The Campus additionally includes an outpatient care center that offers primary care services, genetic counseling and coordinated care services for children with genetic and metabolic diseases, as well as a conference theater designed to foster global collaboration. In recognition of the gift, Children's National Hospital will name the main atrium of the research and innovation building after the UAE's late founder, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. 

Cementing the long-standing partnership and as part of the Abu Dhabi Life Science Mission to US, the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), signed a Declaration of Collaboration with the Children’s National Hospital, home to the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, to exchange knowledge and experiences related to pediatric health and more. The collaboration will focus on three key areas including genomics and oncology research, innovative diseases and patients’ management as well as establishing Abu Dhabi as a regional pediatric hub. The Declaration of Collaboration was signed by Dr. Asma Al Mannaei, Executive Director, Research and Innovation Centre at DoH and Michelle McGuire, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer at Children’s National Hospital.

Commenting on the occasion, HE Abdulla bin Mohammed Al Hamed, Chairman of the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi, said: “We are extremely delighted to have contributed to a new inauguration of the Children’s National Research and Innovation Campus – another milestone that will serve the field of pediatric healthcare in the UAE, USA and beyond. We would like to thank our committed partners at Children’s National Hospital - we are proud to see the fruit of this brilliant collaboration and we were impressed to hear on all the milestones achieved in supporting children around the world.”

He added: “We are proud to nourisher partnerships with leading organisations in the USA to boost research and innovation capabilities in the healthcare industry and beyond. Today, as part of the Abu Dhabi Mission to the USA and during our visit, we aim to strengthen existing ties and initiate new ones – especially in the field of healthcare. We continue to work in unison with strategic international partners to support the global community as well as reiterate Abu Dhabi’s position as a leading healthcare destination as well as life science and innovation hub.”

Through the Declaration of Collaboration, DoH and Children’s National seek to develop genomics flagships and conduct research focused on rare disease and oncology. Additionally, both parties will review Real World Evidence (RWE) to evaluate current and available data sources and assess the systems readiness to generate new ones. Children’s National Hospital will support Abu Dhabi to explore new models of care related to innovative diseases and patients’ management through exchanging best practices and utilising research to improve pediatric surgeries in the emirate. Reinforcing the Emirate’s position as a leading life science destination, the collaboration will focus on the exchange of experiences related to the “Smart Hospital” concept and optimise clinical processes, management systems, digitised networking infrastructure of interconnected assets.

H.E. Yousef Al Otaiba, UAE’s ambassador to the USA, said: “For over a decade, the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation has advanced research and led the development of new techniques that make pediatric surgery less invasive and painful.”

“The inauguration of the new Research and Innovation Campus at Children’s National further enhances our longstanding relationship and shared commitment to improving medical care for kids in the US, UAE and around the world.” Al Otaiba added.

The Abu Delegation also celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. The emirate of Abu Dhabi has contributed to the establishment of the institute through a historic gift of $150 million that served as an investment in knowledge and innovative ideas that continues to lead life-changing discoveries and solutions.

In the last decade, the Children’s National Hospital has achieved remarkable milestones in the field of pediatric health where the Sheikh Zayed Institute issued 40 new patents for groundbreaking pediatric medical innovations as well as licensed eight new companies to market pediatric medical technologies. Focused at making pediatric surgery more precise and less invasive, Children’s National Hospital successfully performed the first-ever high-intensity focused ultrasound surgery on the youngest pediatric patient to undergo HIFU treatment in the world. Additionally, a physician-scientist from the hospital has invented a device that aims to provide the first-ever objective measurement of pain.  Another research innovation includes a software that detects genetic conditions using facial-pattern recognition algorithms.

“Already, through the generosity of the people of the UAE, Children’s National Hospital has advanced innovations that stand to benefit children around the world,” said Kurt Newman, M.D., president and CEO of Children’s National Hospital. “The declaration of collaboration that we signed today builds upon our more than decade-long partnership and will help us exchange expertise and support advances in science and medicine.”

Powered by a solid infrastructure, and an advanced healthcare ecosystem, investment opportunities across the biopharmaceutical and healthcare value chain in Abu Dhabi continue to emerge because of the sector’s robust growth potential. Through international collaborations, Abu Dhabi seeks to lead research groups supported by global partners to explore the resilience and sustainability of the healthcare sector worldwide as well as provide quality care to patients.

The Abu Dhabi Life Science Mission to US is expected to see meetings and agreement signings with leading partners to explore and activate collaborations in life science and real-world evidence, digital health, research and development, supply chain and many other areas. The visit aims to lay down sustainable mechanisms that empower the healthcare sector in both countries as well as showcase Abu Dhabi’s distinguished healthcare ecosystem.

The Abu Dhabi delegation to US witnessed the participation of ten key entities in the life science ecosystem in Abu Dhabi including the Department of Health – Abu Dhabi (DoH), Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Mubadala Health, G42 Healthcare, Abu Dhabi Ports, ADQ, Etihad Cargo, Khalifa University, Hayat-vax and Pure Health.

The Children’s National Research & Innovation Campus opened in 2021, a first-of-its-kind pediatric hub dedicated to developing new and better ways to care for kids. Children’s National has been designated three times in a row as a Magnet® hospital, demonstrating the highest standards of nursing and patient care delivery. This pediatric academic health system offers expert care through a convenient, community-based primary care network and specialty care locations in the D.C. metropolitan area, including Maryland and Virginia. Children’s National is home to the Children’s National Research Institute and Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation. It is recognized for its expertise and innovation in pediatric care and as a strong voice for children through advocacy at the local, regional and national levels. As a non-profit, Children's National Hospital relies on generous donors to help ensure that every child receives the care they need.