Abu Dhabi-UAE: 21 January, 2014 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and BP today jointly announced they have signed a multi-year Technology Innovation Collaboration Agreement in support of innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE.
According to the agreement, Masdar Institute and BP will jointly contribute US$7 million over six years in Masdar Institute-based innovation and entrepreneurship programs. The two partners will combine BP’s expertise and resources in developing innovation and entrepreneurship with Masdar Institute’s existing programmes to enhance the region’s technology commercialisation capabilities.
The agreement was signed by Mr AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP General Manager and Chief Representative in the UAE and Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute in the presence of Mr Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business and Innovation. The ceremony was held during World Future Energy Summit 2014, a global event hosted annually in Abu Dhabi.
The UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said: “This deal is an innovative partnership between the UK’s leading energy company BP and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to invest in entrepreneurs with promising technologies.
“I have been championing government and business in the UK to take a more long term, strategic approach to investment. This agreement shows how a major energy company can play a positive role in supporting wider economic development for Abu Dhabi and beyond. It also builds on the mutual interest of the UK and the UAE to generate growth through exports by promoting overseas trade, innovation and sustainable technologies.”
AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP’s General Manager and Chief Representative in Abu Dhabi, comments: “BP’s contribution will help Masdar Institute to expand its work to identify and support the promising new technologies and entrepreneurs. BP will bring its own experience in finding and investing in technology innovators. We are also considering ways to boost seed grant funds for entrepreneurs as well as mentoring and training. BP is delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with Masdar Institute in a long-term programme to enhance Abu Dhabi’s capability in nurturing important and exciting technologies – an important driver and enabler for building a diverse and stable economy aligned with the Abu Dhabi Environmental Vision 2030.”
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “We are delighted to enter into this collaborative agreement with BP on technology innovation which remains one of the crucial drivers of the new age economy. The continuous support of the UAE leadership has helped us to establish new partnerships not only in research and human capital development, but also innovation and entrepreneurship. We expect the agreement will further support innovation in advanced and sustainable technologies.”
Currently, Masdar Institute is driving research and innovation along with entrepreneurship through the Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), headed by Dr Bruce Walker Ferguson, Professor of Practice, Engineering Systems and Management at Masdar Institute and Vice-Chairman of the Carnegie Institution for Science.
Professor Ferguson said: “BP is a corporate leader in supporting early-stage sustainable technology companies in many different countries. Its resources and broad experience will greatly assist our Center’s efforts to adapt best practices from other innovation ecosystems to the needs of technology entrepreneurs in the UAE. The lessons we learn from this novel industry-university collaboration should speed up technology innovation in the UAE as well as in many other countries, thereby helping to create high-quality jobs and strengthen and diversify economic performance.”
iInnovation will also initiate a novel Masdar Institute-based ‘innovation zone’, adapted from free zone structure, to facilitate supportive environment and entrepreneur access to resources. Moreover, it will engage a broad range of stakeholders in periodic discussions on innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE, while initiating industry-specific, industry-sponsored ecosystem policy councils to accelerate innovation in the country.
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.