KU Affairs

Khalifa University And Alibaba Cloud Launch Joint Innovation Laboratory To Focus On Artificial Intelligence For Clean Energy

October 16, 2018

Khalifa University of Science and Technology and Alibaba Cloud, the cloud computing arm of Alibaba Group, have launched the Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy (“The Lab”), strengthening scientific cooperation between the two companies in the fields of energy and computer science.

Both parties intend to leverage The Lab as their innovation hub for clean energy solutions, utilizing artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing and big data technologies to develop future energy technologies and energy-saving materials.

The launch was announced during the opening ceremony of the Computing Conference 2018 hosted by Alibaba in Hangzhou, China, from 19-22 September. Jack Ma, Executive Chairman of Alibaba Group, Daniel Zhang, the Chief Executive Officer of Alibaba Group, Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud and Senior Vice President of Alibaba Group, Dr. Steve Griffiths, Senior Vice-President for Research and Development, Khalifa University, Dr. Tiejun Zhang, Associate Professor, Khalifa University, and Ahmed Al Kuttab, Head of the Executive Office of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), attended the ceremony.

The Lab will focus on three research themes – AI-enabled subsurface energy production and processing, machine learning-enabled clean energy materials development, and AI/cloud computing-powered smart renewable energy systems. Initial projects are expected to be rolled out from now until 2023. The projects will be sponsored by Alibaba Cloud and led by Dr. Zhang from Khalifa University as the principal scientist leading the research collaboration.

Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University, said: “Our partnership with Alibaba Cloud to launch the Joint Innovation Laboratory of Artificial Intelligence for Clean Energy illustrates the role of Khalifa University in contributing to the overall advancement of science and technology in the UAE. Khalifa University prioritizes research and innovation in the UAE’s strategic areas such as energy and artificial intelligence. We firmly believe this joint lab will be an effective platform for our students and faculty, providing extra stimulus to developing novel technologies in these areas.”

“The Lab will be able to draw on the expertise and contributions from multidisciplinary scientists, professional engineers, talented students, industrial partners, and government stakeholders for research and innovation in the fields of artificial intelligence, energy science and engineering,” said, Simon Hu, President of Alibaba Cloud. “Alibaba Cloud has always been at the forefront of driving the future technology. We are excited to see how our cloud computing technology can advance research breakthroughs and empower science. For us, this is the true meaning of inclusive technology.”

Faculty and scientists from Khalifa University will provide their technical expertise to advance The Lab’s research effort while Alibaba Cloud will make available research scientists and specialists as well as advanced cloud computing resources to support The Lab’s development.