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Masdar Institute and BP Co-Sponsor Arab Innovation Network Annual Conference in Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 25 September, 2014 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced that the Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), in collaboration with BP, is a co-sponsor of the Arab Innovation Network Annual Conference (AINAC) 2014 in Abu Dhabi.

To be held from 27-28 September, 2014 at Rotana Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, the conference keynote speakers will include His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development and Sheikh Ebrahim AL Khalifa, a Senior Busniness Consultant and a co-founder of University College of Bahrain.

The event includes the Innovation Spaces exhibition, panel discussions on leading and nurturing innovation, the AINnovation Competition, and certified workshops. Masdar Institute’s Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation) will mark its participation with the demonstration of a prototype of an interactive recycling bin developed by WMS Metal Industries LLC in collaboration with Masdar Institute students and faculty in a novel industry-university partnership. WMS is listed as one on the top 100 SMEs in Dubai by the Dubai government, and currently ranks seventh in innovation.

A total of 12 entrepreneur teams, three from the GCC region, have been selected to compete from the 150 applications for the AINovation Competition 2014. The competition will vet ideas with themes focusing on environment and renewable energy, life sciences, as well as health and engineering. In addition to the Innovation Spaces exhibition showcasing prototypes by innovators, a recruitment lounge for companies to help talent hunt will also be part of the event.

Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson, Head, Masdar Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Professor of Practice, Engineering Systems and Management, will be one of four on the judging panel for the AINnovation Competition 2014. Participating teams will be given six to eight minutes each to present their concepts and compete for an award of US$2,000 for further developing their projects.

Dr. Ferguson said: “Our Center believes that technology-based startups formed by Masdar Institute students and faculty will benefit greatly from a strong UAE innovation ecosystem.  AINAC’s decision to site its international conference in Abu Dhabi provides an opportunity for UAE innovation stakeholders to meet and form connections that can be helpful to entrepreneurs at Masdar Institute and throughout the Middle East. The iInnovation Center and BP are sponsoring the event to help make it easier for technology entrepreneurs to carry forward their businesses after they leave the university.”

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