Abu Dhabi-UAE: 13 April, 2015 – The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, revealed progress and opportunities surrounding the collaborative research projects it has undertaken with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) at the Masdar Institute and MIT Research and Innovation Conference 2015, held in Abu Dhabi.
The conference, held on 13 April at Masdar Institute campus, acted as a platform for researchers from MIT and Masdar Institute to engage with stakeholders in the UAE’s innovation ecosystem.
The joint research projects discussed were launched two and a half years ago, with the aim of addressing the unique sustainability challenges faced in the UAE. Since then, researchers have made significant progress towards achieving this goal with innovations in the fields of renewable energy, water security, and the other priority sectors identified in the National Innovation Strategy.
“The Masdar Institute and MIT Research and Innovation Conference facilitated an important dialogue into the potential for international collaborations to produce research-driven innovations catered to the UAE’s unique challenges,” said Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute. “We are pleased to see participants showing a strong interest in translating this regionally-relevant, joint sustainability research from the lab to the marketplace.”
Dr Duane Boning, Director, MIT & Masdar Institute Cooperative Program (MIT & MICP), Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT of MIT, said, “This conference has successfully gathered stakeholders in the UAE innovation ecosystem to explore new opportunities innovations resulting from our joint research with Masdar Institute. The participants in this event are excited to leverage such innovations into engines of economic growth.”
The Masdar Institute-MIT Research and Innovation Conference 2015 opened with welcome remarks from Dr. Moavenzadeh. Dr. Steve Griffiths, Executive Director, Office of Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute, spoke about Masdar Institute’s research strategy within the context of the UAE National Innovation Strategy.
His presentation was followed by an overview of the conference from Dr. Duane Boning, Director, MIT & Masdar Institute Cooperative Program (MIT & MICP), Professor, Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, MIT. Faculty from both universities then summarized work on 14 projects that relate to the seven priority sectors established by the National Innovation Strategy – clean and renewable energy, water, health, education, transportation, space, and technology.
During a networking reception at the end of the conference, an ‘Innovation Zone’ was hosted by Dr. Bruce Walker Ferguson, Head of the Masdar Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation). The Innovation Zone highlighted research with promising commercial applications through poster presentations and provide an opportunity to engage face-to-face with leaders in the UAE’s innovation ecosystem – including academics, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, policymakers, and corporate leaders. The projects on display featured leading edge ideas in energy, water and microelectronics from Masdar Institute and MIT that are on the fast track to commercialization.