New collaborations, high-profile launches, release of reports and unveiling of a design for an energy-efficient cargo dolly were some of the key features of Masdar Institute’s participation in the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) and International Water Summit (IWS), held as part of the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) 2016.
His Highness Sheikh Abdulla bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Foreign Minister, visited the Masdar Institute pavilion during the event. Faculty and students showed His Highness Sheikh Abdulla their research projects on display at the pavilion, emphasizing the impact that each has on the core challenges facing the UAE for a sustainable future, particularly in the fields of water and energy. He was accompanied by Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of Masdar, Dr. Ahmed Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, and other officials. Special guests from the Embassy of Japan in the UAE also visited the Masdar Institute pavilion during the summit.
The week-long event provided an opportunity for Masdar Institute to showcase its cutting-edge research projects being accomplished through the four institute research centers (iCenters) at the Innovation Zone, where faculty members interacted with interested visitors. Special sessions at the Masdar Institute Theater provided career advice to young professionals, and the venue also served as the stage for the launch of the PV simulator tool by the Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA). The innovative tool can be used to identify the ideal locations for solar facilities in the UAE through simulations based on both land and satellite data.
Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Interim Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “For Masdar Institute, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week goes even beyond the showcasing of our research prowess, technology expertise and breakthrough innovations. This year’s event marked the unveiling of new sustainability innovations, collaborations and research reports that help to inform our stakeholder community, and we have an even more ambitious year ahead.”
ADSW events that raised Masdar Institute’s profile, both regionally and globally, included the release of a report jointly developed by Masdar Institute with the Washington D.C.-based Brookings Institution on energy reforms introduced by the UAE. The joint study commends the UAE on the pioneering reforms and welcomes further measures in the coming months.
The Green to Scale Report jointly developed in collaboration with the Finnish think-tank Sitra, also generated significant interest, as it contained a number of tried and tested solutions and strategies to reduce carbon emissions.
Among collaborations, the launch of a new design for a smart, temperature-controlled, sustainable and energy-efficient cargo dolly system developed in collaboration with Etihad Airways Cargo was one of the highlights of the summit. The innovative dolly will optimize the transport of temperature-sensitive cargo that arrives at Abu Dhabi International Airport, thus giving Etihad Cargo and the Abu Dhabi airport a unique competitive edge over other destinations.
Masdar Institute and The University of Manchester launched a research collaboration for graphene and related 2D materials at the event beginning a new chapter in the UAE’s drive towards developing sustainable solutions. Three joint research projects were launched to initiate the collaboration. Reiterating continuing collaboration in the strategic water sector, Masdar Institute entered into a research agreement with Xylem Inc., a leading global water technology provider. The project aims to establish sustainability indicators and cost performance of processes and equipment for wastewater treatment facilities in Abu Dhabi.
ADSW also provided a platform for the launch of the Seawater Energy and Agriculture System’s (SEAS) pilot project by the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC) at Masdar Institute, which aims to produce both aquaculture and bio-energy without using arable land or freshwater.
Masdar Institute also contributed to thought-leadership at ADSW and WFES, through the participation of its senior administration and faculty in discussions, panels, and question and answer sessions, where they shared knowledge and expertise in their areas of specialty.
One of the notable moments of ADSW 2016 was the recognition of a winning proposal from Masdar Institute for the inaugural UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science 2016 grant program. Dr. Linda Zou, Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, received the award in recognition of her project proposal that focuses on the use of nanotechnology to improve the formation of rain droplets. Dr, Zou is collaborating with faculty from the National University of Singapore and the University of Belgrade on the project.
Among other features at the pavilion, the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display unit attracted several visitors. The device offered visitors an opportunity to virtually peer into the Masdar Institute campus’ sustainable features and tour some of the research facilities.
Masdar Institute’s ‘Digital Wall’ demonstrated the research-based institution’s connection between research and social media, with Instagram, Twitter and Facebook posts appearing live.
The annual Green Career Fair 2016 organized by Masdar Institute also offered talented youth an avenue to explore new opportunities in the renewable energy and sustainable industries by bringing them into contact with industry professionals. Officials from various leading clean energy industry companies such as GE, KEO International Consultants, Action Energy Partners, Monster Gulf, Green Recruitment Solutions, UAE Ministry of Energy, Schneider Electric and AECOM, offered an overview of their corporate activities and the attracting options that await them should they choose to join one of the companies.
Part of ADSW 2016, which was held from 16-21 January 2016, WFES is an annual platform to exchange ideas, explore the latest developments, and address challenges in the future energy arena. The event attracted more than 30,000 attendees from 170 countries, and 650 exhibiting companies from more than 40 countries.
02 February 2016