Masdar Institute and British Council to Host 2017 GCC-UK Science Collaboration Symposium on Smart Cities in Abu Dhabi

September 21, 2018

The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and the British Council, the UK Science and Innovation Network (SIN) and the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, today jointly announced scientists and innovators from research institutions and start-up companies in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the UK will be gathering for the GCC-UK Science Collaboration Symposium 2017 in Abu Dhabi on 26-27 March.

The event, which will be held at the Masdar Institute Multi-Use Hall in Masdar City, aims to encourage scientific researchers to present their stimulating work and ideas for knowledge transfer related to smart cities. It will invite open discussions and potential investment to encourage the creation of UK-GCC collaboration linkages to access the deep pool of information and technology sharing.

The symposium will cover three key areas – sustainable infrastructure, smart city technologies, and social impact of such technologies. Scientists and innovators from research institutions and start-up companies from the six GCC countries – Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates – and the UK are expected to attend the event.

Ambassador to UAE, Philip Parham, said: “I am really pleased that leading scientific researchers, innovators and business from the UAE, the wider GCC and the UK are meeting to discuss the challenges of smart cities for the future. This presents a unique opportunity to share our knowledge and expertise, and to create new partnerships and collaborations between Emirati, Gulf and UK universities. This also presents me with the opportunity to congratulate Masdar Institute and the University of Manchester, and Khalifia University and Bristol University, on their success in the recent research call led by the British Council. The UK Government is committed to forging and supporting these partnerships, including with financial research grants.”

Dr. Behjat Al Yousuf, Provost, Masdar Institute, said: “The GCC-UK Science Collaboration Symposium is a knowledge-exchange platform that we are proud to organize to bring together the British and Gulf-based research communities and industry stakeholders. The symposium’s three focus areas are integral to Masdar Institute’s emphasis on the development of a knowledge base in sustainability science. Open exchange of information is key to innovation and collaboration and I am confident this symposium on smart cities will benefit industry, academia, and government on both sides.”

Gavin Anderson, Director of the British Council in UAE, said: “International collaboration in science research will play a key role in supporting economic diversification in the Gulf, by driving innovation in areas like nanotechnology, smart cities and renewable energy. Collaboration lies at the heart of innovation, so we’re delighted to be able to bring together 40 UK and GCC scientists, businesspeople and policymakers to share knowledge and exchange ideas as part of our UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration.”

According to a UK Trade and Investment report, the smart cities market is forecast to be worth more than AED4 trillion (£900 billion) by 2020, equivalent to the 12th largest nation on earth, in terms of GDP. Further, it is estimated that the top 750 smart cities will generate two-thirds of the world’s GDP by 2030. Additionally, there’s an estimated global infrastructure investment of £25 trillion (AED112 trillion) required over the next 20 years to ensure sustainable urban futures. Such forecasts validate the need to develop liveable and resilient urban infrastructure.

Reflecting the industry trends and the impact on the community, the GCC-UK Science Collaboration Symposium will cover ‘opportunities and challenges for smart city urban infrastructure and accommodation of future smart city technologies’ as well as ‘city design, transportation planning, lighting, public spaces, irrigation and urban waste management’ under the topic ‘sustainable infrastructure’.

The session on ‘smart city technologies’ will focus on ‘technologies and systems that will serve as the foundations of smart buildings’; ‘sensing, communication and analytical platforms’; ‘heating and cooling systems, power, lighting, and distributed renewable energy’; ‘the foundations of smart urban transportation’; ‘electric and autonomous vehicles’; and ‘intelligent systems for shared and mass transportation’.

Under the social impact’ category, the symposium will cover ‘links between smart city technologies and safe, secure societies’; ‘integration of citizen happiness with resource efficiency’ as well as ‘citizen engagement and the evolution of government services’.

Clarence Michael
News Writer
22 March 2017