The world today is not just living through an "age of change”, but rather is experiencing a “change of age”. There are many pressing challenges that mankind has to resolve in order to sustain humanity’s survival and welfare including: shortage of water supplies, finding alternative resources of energy, as well as maintaining a balanced ecology and sustainable cities. In addition to these global concerns, the UAE has committed itself to pursue the Abu Dhabi Vision 2030 aiming at diversification of the country’s economical resources in order to nourish a knowledge-based economy. Addressing these global and national demands require very complex, and “out-of-the” box innovative solutions.

Education is one of the most important (if not the most important) fields to conquer societal demands. The greatest responsibility of the educational systems is to prepare a qualified workforce that is capable of rising to the “major demands of the future”, rather than revert back to the level of their training. The ultimate key to achieving that goal is via embracing innovation that expands beyond technology integration in the teaching and learning process to include school administration, contemporary issues in the school curricula, pedagogy and teaching instructions, assessment, teacher training and readiness, student motivation, and school culture.

The Institute of Applied Technology (IAT), as one of the leading Career Technical Education (CTE) stakeholders in the UAE, is organizing the IAT Technological Education Conference (IAT TEC 2011) on 30-31 March 2011 in Abu Dhabi, UAE. The focus of the conference is “Educate to Innovate” and it aims at bringing together academics, researchers, employers and policy makers to discuss and exchange best practices of innovation implementations in education.