Experts Focus on R&D Infrastructure, Role of Women in Future Energy and Tackling Water Scarcity

September 21, 2018
Masdar Institute Officials and Faculty Lead Three Panel Discussions at WFES 2013
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 17 January, 2013 – Three panel discussions focusing on R&D infrastructure, role of women in future energy and tackling water scarcity through renewable energy sources marked the third day’s participation of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology in the World Future Energy Summit 2013.
Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, moderated a roundtable titled ‘Building a robust R&D Infrastructure in Abu Dhabi’, while Dr Lamya N. Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, led discussions during a panel discussion on ‘The role of Women in Future Energy: Breaking down the Barriers’. Dr. Hassan E. S. Fath, Professor of Practice – Water and Environmental Engineering, offer his views at a panel discussion on ‘Optimization of Water Production, Technology and Process to Positively Impact Environment’.
The three panels marked the multifaceted participation of Masdar Institute that highlighted the integral role of the research-based institution’s contribution to drive key issues in clean energy and sustainable technologies at WFES 2013. Part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2013 hosted by Masdar and supported by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), WFES was held from 15-17 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Center (ADNEC).
Moderating the round-table, Dr Fred Moavenzadeh said: “As emerging economies move towards high technology, the reliance on a suitable R&D infrastructure will increase manifold. Physical infrastructure in the form of universities, labs and facilities, with policy regulation and financing, as well as organizational infrastructure together need to jointly contribute towards creating the right environment for developing this set-up.
“Since R&D remains the backbone of innovation, which in turn helps drive economic expansion, all three areas need to be adequately addressed to develop an appropriate mechanism. Such a mechanism alone will be able to generate the kind of productive outcome required to build a knowledge-based society.” 
The panel analyzed topics including the importance of a research based higher education systems, the role of R&D and the need for innovation and entrepreneurship. Building and fostering R&D capacity as well as disseminating the findings into the economy were also deliberated upon by the panelists.
The panel of eminent experts included Prof. Adnan Badran, President of Petra University in Jordan, Dr Mohammed Baniyas, Provost, UAE University, Dr Larry Wilson, Provost, Zayed University and Dr Tod Laursen, President, Khalifa University.
Masdar Institute also contributed to the panel on ‘Optimisation of Water Production, Technology and Processes to Positively Impact Environment’ at the International Water Summit (IWS) 2013. Experts took a strategic perspective on ways to bridge the water scarcity gap from a production point of view to better understand the challenges. Integration of renewable energy sources to reduce environmental impact and incentives to stimulate commercial opportunity in clean technology were also discussed by the panel members.
Speaking at the panel, Dr. Hassan Fath said: “The newly developed novel integrated Multi Stage Flash/ Multi Effect Distillation (MSF/MED) technology combines the positive advantages of both technologies, targeting high performance. Since this technology also suits the integration with solar and renewable energies, water security could be achieved. We aim for the construction of the first 5000 – 10,000 m3/day solar thermal desalination pilot plant of integrated MSF/MED technologies in the future.”
Linda Macpherson, Vice-President, CH2M HILL, moderated the panel. Other speakers included Carlos Cosin, CEO, Befesa Agua, and Dr. Mohamed A. Dawoud, Water Resources Advisor, Environment Quality Sector, Environment Agency Abu Dhabi (EAD).
Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.
Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow.  With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.