Abu Dhabi-UAE: 11 March, 2014 – The Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation) at Masdar Institute of Science and Technology today launched the BP Innovation Scholarship program. The first two scholarships under the new program are expected to be awarded in September 2014.
The BP Innovation Scholarship is a two-year, fully-funded merit-based scholarship to be awarded to graduate students in any one of Masdar Institute’s engineering concentrations. As a central part of their work, the BP Innovation Scholars will develop a business plan for a new sustainable technology business based either on their own ideas or ideas they adopt at the Institute. When possible, BP Innovation Scholars are encouraged to participate in forming a startup company before graduation. Based on review of the business plan, a grant or other financial support toward the cost of forming a new company may be awarded by the Institute.
The scholarships are funded in part under the new US$7 million collaborative innovation agreement that Masdar Institute and BP signed earlier this year. Scholarships include full tuition, housing, living expenses, insurance, travel costs and certain patenting expenses. The last date for submitting applications for students entering this September is 31 May 2014.
Details of the BP Innovation Scholarship program were announced during an Open House organized by iInnovation in conjunction with BP to mark the launch of the iInnovation Lab (iLab). The iLab provides faculty and students with facilities, training, mentorship and other resources to explore the commercial potential of their research.
Held at the Masdar Institute campus, the Open House attracted a large number of innovators, angel investors, finance sector professionals and other stakeholders in the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Dr. Issam Dairanieh, Managing Director, BP Ventures, and Dr. Katherine T. Moortgat, former Partner, Mohr Davidow Ventures, spoke at the event.
Dr Issam Dairanieh commented: “This is an opportunity for BP to bring to Abu Dhabi its expertise and resources in creating pockets of innovation and in developing human capital. Our goal is to help to commercialise locally-developed technologies and to contribute to Abu Dhabi’s objective to build a diverse and sustainable economy.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “This initiative from BP further strengthens our collaboration for developing new entrepreneurs with the right project concepts and the commitment to succeed. The continuing support of the UAE leadership helps us to launch new programs through our partners and we hope the BP Innovation Scholarship will help encourage enthusiastic students to fulfill their entrepreneurial dreams.”
Mr. AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP’s General Manager and Chief Representative in Abu Dhabi, said: “The BP Innovation Scholarship program indicates BP’s willingness to invest in human capital to ensure that youth remain committed to innovation. The program offers interested students an opportunity to establish their creative skills and, we hope, to develop successful technology start-ups.”
Professor Bruce Walker Ferguson, Head of iInnovation, commented: “These novel scholarships recognize the tremendous educational value of technology entrepreneurship. By strengthening the pre-graduation link between academic study and technology translation, BP Innovation Scholarships provide students with invaluable hands-on experience, help to reduce entrepreneurial risk, and increase the commercial potential of inventions in renewable energy and other sustainable technologies.”
BP Innovation Scholarships will be awarded to applicants with outstanding academic records who demonstrate initiative and creativity. Successful applicants will possess superior quantitative and analytical capabilities that prepare them for the Institute’s rigorous engineering program. Further information on the scholarships is available at the Institute’s on-line application site, www.masdar.ac.ae/admissions.