The UAE's top-ranking university Khalifa University of Science and Technology announced on Wednesday that it has extended its patented technology licensing to the startup Advanced Research Projects. The latter was established by former Biomedical Engineering alumnus Saeed Alteneiji and supported by current faculty member Dr. Ahsan Khandoker.

The university afforded its intellectual property (IP) technology licensing to the startup's home-based heart monitoring apparatus Twinkle Heart. The device allows expectant mothers to monitor their fetus' heartbeat and cardiac activity.

The instrument's technology was developed by Dr. Khandoker, associate professor of Biomedical Engineering at Khalifa University, and was incubated at Khalifa Innovation Center (KIC).

"It is rewarding to see this piece of my research work can further be progressed by a local start-up into a market product that can benefit the public," said Dr. Khandoker, according to Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The device was initially created to aid physicians and midwives in their work. However, its portability, cheapness, ease-of-use, and safety allows pregnant women and remote healthcare staff to make use of the screening machine.

Executive Vice President at Khalifa University Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi believes it is imperative that the university affords "intellectual and patent rights" to startups founded by Emirati entrepreneurs in an effort to "contribute to the innovation ecosystem."

Advanced Research Projects, Twinkle Heart, UAE, UAE startup
Advanced Research Projects' device Twinkle Heart allows expectant mothers to monitor their fetus' heartbeat and cardiac activity. Source: WAM

Khalifa University is currently the UAE's top-ranking university. It has issued over 140 patent licenses to date with another 360 pending patent applications and 400 invention disclosures. 

The university was granted 23 out of 48 awards under the 2019 Abu Dhabi Award for Research Excellence, 17 of which were from the College of Engineering, five from the College of Arts and Science, and one from the College of Medicine and Health Sciences. The total research grants amounted to over 21 million dirhams ($5.7 million).

"We have once again validated our status as a pioneering research-intensive university that is focused on the UAE's strategic sectors, contributing the country's drive towards becoming a knowledge-based economy," said Dr. Al Hammadi at the time. It is something he reiterated once again after extending the university's licensing to Advanced Research Projects.