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Masdar Institute Hosts 12 UAE Education and Research Institutions to Establish Institutional Membership in EU-GCC Clean Energy Network

Third Discussion Group Meeting to be Held from 24 – 25 November in Athens;

Masdar Institute to Lead GCC Participation in Seminar on Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plants at ‘CSP Today Sevilla’ 2011 from 29-30 November

Abu Dhabi-UAE:3 November, 2011 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it hosted an Institutional Membership meeting of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network in Abu Dhabi.

Masdar Institute is the lead institution representing the GCC in the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, which aims to advance the common interest between the EU and the GCC regions for strategic energy cooperation. Masdar Institute is working with its partner institution in the EU, the National Technical University of Athens, to create, operate, promote and disseminate information and proposals on sustainable strategies of the Clean Energy Network. Members of the network include private companies, organizations, government agencies, research institutions and universities.

In addition to Masdar Institute, the other GCC counterpart organizations in the Network are King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology (KACST), Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR), Qatar Environment and Energy Research Institute, Sultan Qaboos University of Oman and Arabian Gulf University. The Network’s operations are supported by numerous organisations in both the regions.

A total of 12 organizations participated in the Abu Dhabi meeting on 27 October that was organized to introduce institutions in the UAE to the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network and its activities, promote Institutional Membership, and discuss various ways the Network can respond to the common interests of organizations active in the clean energy sector.

Following an introduction by Dr. Scott Kennedy, the Masdar Institute Associate Dean for Research, on the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network, a brainstorming session on how the Network can benefit academic and government organizations in the UAE and the GCC region resulted in an enthusiastic exchange of ideas among the delegates. Representatives from the Ministry of Energy, ICT Fund, Zayed University, Abu Dhabi University, the Petroleum Institute (PI), Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research (KUSTAR), UAE University (UAEU), Ajman University, American University of Sharjah (AUS), Sharjah University and the Higher Colleges of Technology (HCT) actively took part in the discussions.

During the meeting, participants exchanged views on ways to help enhance the Network’s efforts, particularly focused on collaborative research among institutions, as well as strategies on ensuring the overall sustainability of the Network. The group benefited from the presence of Dr. Eesa M. Bastaki, CEO of ICT Fund who emphasized the importance of such networking consortium and collaboration opportunities, as well as Hamdan Mubarak Al Akbari, Director of Petroleum Economics Department at the UAE Ministry of Energy, who reiterated Masdar Institute’s role in leading this initiative, while stressing on the significance of such networking opportunities to the UAE and the region.

By becoming members, institutions pledge to bridge the gap between leading players in the EU-GCC clean energy sector, with scope to build a functional partnership and extensive new networks relevant to renewable energy sources, energy demand side management and energy efficiency, clean natural gas & related clean technologies, electricity interconnections and market integration; as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Additionally, member institutions get an opportunity to expand their professional network among public and private sector players in clean energy; discuss technical, regulatory, economic and commercial development trends; discover key challenges facing the clean energy industry in EU and the GCC; and meet with fellow researchers to develop collaborative R&D projects. 

The EU-GCC Clean Energy Network announced that it will be hosting its Third Discussion Groups’ meeting in Athens from 24 – 25 November. Prior to the two-day event, there will be a meeting for the EU-GCC Consortium Partners to ensure Network-related activities are suitably coordinated.

Meanwhile, Masdar Institute is coordinating the GCC participation for the ‘Seminar on Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Plants (CSTPs) and Renewable Energy Sources Discussion Group Meeting’ that will be held in cooperation with CENER on the side-lines of the CSP Today Sevilla 2011 – the Fifth International Concentrated Solar Thermal Power Summit from 29 – 30 November in Seville, Spain.

On the second day of the Seville event, technical site visits will be organized to two state-of-the-art CSP plants – Abengoa Solar’s Solúcar Complex, the largest in Europe, and the 19.9MW Gemasolar, Torresol Energy’s first project to use central tower technology and heliostats. Torresol Energy is a 40:60 joint venture between Abu Dhabi renewable energy company Masdar and Spanish engineering firm SENER.

Dr. Joseph Cecchi, Provost of Masdar Institute, said: “The meeting on Institutional Membership of the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network offered academic and government organizations from the UAE a distinct understanding about the year-long activities and the benefits of being part of such a dynamic inter-regional organization. As the lead research representative, Masdar Institute is privileged to host the meeting in Abu Dhabi. We believe organizations in the UAE will realize the potential behind the membership and play an active role in the advancement of clean energy concepts.”

The EU Consortium is led by the Institute Computers Communications Systems of National Technical University Athens (ICCS – NTUA) in Greece. Members of the EU Consortium include the Swiss branch of Gulf Research Center in Switzerland, German Aerospace Center (DLR-CSP) of Germany, National Renewable Energy Centre (CENER) of Spain, French Environment and Energy Management Agency – ADEME of France, University of Stavanger (UiS) of Norway, Electricity Supply Board International (ESBI) of Ireland, and the Center for European Policy Studies.

Institutions and individuals that join the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network will benefit from the exchange of experience and know-how; joint actions between EU and GCC stakeholders facilitating joint research; joint projects on clean energy in the GCC as well as policy support to promote these activities.

An initiative that aims to support and enhance the long term strategic relationship, the EU-GCC Clean Energy Network addresses specific industry issues in clean energy. It also seeks to act as a practical instrument for the development of concrete cooperation activities of common interest on clean energy, including policy and technology, among various stakeholders across the EU and GCC countries.

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