UAE’s Khalifa University has partnered with Italian shipbuilders Fincantieri to strengthen the country’s naval industry.

The partnership has launched a new scholarship and training programme at the Abu Dhabi campus of the university.

The programme will involve training and educating the human capital to support the UAE naval industry.

"We look forward to seeing how our students benefit from this cooperation."

Khalifa University president Dr Tod Laursen said: "Partnerships between academia and industry are vital for providing the human capital and know how needed to continuously expand the UAE’s economy and push forward areas of key development.

"We look forward to seeing how our students benefit from this cooperation, as much as they look forward to the exciting international internships and scholarship opportunities."

According to the university, ten students have already participated in the first round of training during May and June 2015 at Fincantieri’s premises in Italy.

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Organised in partnership with an Italian ship research centre Cetena, the internships were carried out for six weeks.

The training allowed students’ to develop skills in naval engineering and architecture through theoretical classes, practical training and visits to Fincantieri’s modern facilities in Genova, La Spezia and Monfalcone.

In addition, the programme will provide Fincantieri with skilled human capital for its Abu Dhabi-based joint-venture, Etihad Ship Building (ESB).

Fincantieri currently provides logistic support and maintenance services to the UAE Navy.