Khalifa University and UAE’s United Al Saqer Group Sign MoU to Collaborate in Water and Environment and Healthcare Research

March 25, 2024

Partnership Will Contribute to Developing Cutting-Edge Solutions Focusing on Sustainability and Innovations


Khalifa University of Science and Technology and the United Al Saqer Group, a leading UAE-based conglomerate today announced that they have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to provide funding and collaborate on research activities, and fostering the development of industry-focused projects in the fields of healthcare, life science, and water and environment.

The signing of the MoU was witnessed by His Excellency Sheikh Abdulla Mohammed bin Butti AlHamed, Member of United Al Saqer Group’s Board of Directors, and His Excellency Homaid Al Shimmari, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University. The partnership was signed by Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President, Khalifa University, and Nabil Kobeissi, CEO of United Al Saqer Group. 


Professor Sir John O’Reilly, President, Khalifa University, said: “The partnership with United Al Saqer Group underscores our commitment as a responsible research-driven academic institution to engage with leading organizations, driving real-world advancements in research, innovation, and sustainable solutions in water, environment, and healthcare domains. Leveraging Khalifa University’s academic and research expertise alongside the industry-wide reach and resources of United Al Saqer will enable us to further enhance our research and talent development actions in these key areas in line with our steadfast commitment to work to safeguard the environment, preserve natural resources, and enhance public health.”


Nabil Kobeissi, CEO, United Al Saqer Group said: “United Al Saqer group remains committed to translating our wise leadership’s vision of creating a thriving and globally competitive knowledge-based economy. As one of the leading entities to invest in Healthcare, Life Science and future-orientated solutions, supporting universities in their research and talent development efforts will be a key mandate for us for the foreseeable future. With this partnership and many others by us and other private sector players, a momentum is being created by Abu Dhabi actions and growing confidence to take our rightful place globally as a hub for solutions generation to the most challenging problems facing the world. Over the next 10 years, United Al Saqer group will go above and beyond to support the ‘We the UAE 2031’ vision. This will be mainly through continuing to invest in world class solutions and businesses; partnering with academic institutions and many other players locally and globally, to support researchers, visionaries and entrepreneurs to realize their passion; and through supporting incubators and hubs to attract promising talent and ideas.”


The partnership will allow United Al Saqer Group to provide recurrent funding for research and solutions creation by the teams in Khalifa University. In addition, it will be leveraging the established and growing expertise and various industry networks that United Al Saqer Group has, through its local and international strategic investments across various sectors investments cultivated over the last five decades. This collaboration will extend to furthering the healthcare and life sciences domain, encompassing a diverse range of research projects and initiatives from Khalifa University’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences (CMHS), which has already developed cutting-edge innovations and achieved scientific milestones. These include the design and production of a novel bio-printer capable of fabricating artificial tissues and organoids for research purposes, the establishment of the first Emirati Reference Human Genome, novel drug discovery and delivery technologies, identification of new therapeutic targets for major diseases affecting Emiratis, new sensors and intelligent systems-based approaches to optimize the diagnosis of cardiovascular and neurological diseases.


In the area of water and environment, Khalifa University has already paved the way with several sustainable-focused projects, showcased recently at the global climate summit, COP28 UAE. These include a 3D-printed membranes for water treatment, the creation of a 3U CubeSat for climate change assessment, a water-from-air system powered solely by solar energy, and the establishment of the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System (SEAS) — the world’s first research facility that minimizes waste, cultivates food and fuel using desert land irrigated by seawater, and produces sustainable biofuels for aviation.


The Environmental and Water Resources Engineering program at Khalifa University focuses on advancements in wastewater treatment, environmental fluid dynamics, hydraulics, hydrology, water resources engineering, desalination, air quality monitoring, and pollution control. Not ending with research projects, two Khalifa University faculty were recently honored with the first and second place at the Sheikh Hamdan bin Zayed Environmental Award – First Cycle for their commitment to protecting the environment and their innovative environmental solutions.


Alisha Roy 
Science Writer
25 March 2024