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Masdar Institute to Showcase Collaboration Initiatives, Research and Academic Offerings at Rio+20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil

Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced it will highlight its collaborations, project initiatives and diverse research offerings in sustainable technologies at the Rio +20 Earth Summit 2012 in Brazil.

A delegation from Masdar Institute will drive this participation during the preparatory meetings prior to and during the Summit in Rio. More than 90 countries will be participating at the summit that is being organized from 20-22 June by the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD).

The Summit aims to secure renewed political commitment to sustainable development; assess progress towards internationally agreed goals on sustainable development; and address new and emerging challenges. It will also focus on two themes – ‘a green economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development’, and ‘an institutional framework for sustainable development’.

As an institution that remains committed to sustainability, Masdar Institute in collaboration with its partners, including the Abu Dhabi-headquartered International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), will display the Solar Atlas at the UAE pavilion that will also host Masdar and other Mubadala entities. Masdar Institute’s academic, research and outreach offerings, as well as its other collaboration initiatives will also be showcased during the event.

Top officials, faculty and students, who are part of the delegation, will engage clean energy industry professionals, corporate decision-makers and thought leaders to identify opportunities for Masdar Institute to play a wider role on the global sustainability stage.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute, said: “The Rio+20 Summit will bring together heads of states, government leaders and civil society organizations to uphold the values of sustainability by providing the time and space and define a sustainable development pathway for a better future while preserving the natural resources. Such a forum is also ideal for Masdar Institute, which stands by the values of sustainability, to showcase its diverse academic and research offerings including our students’ research work. We thank the country’s wise leadership for guiding and supporting our participation in such global events that help maintain our profile among the industry and government leaders.”

Dr Lamya Nawaf Fawwaz, Executive Director, Public Affairs, Masdar Institute, said: “As part of its endeavor to developing critical thinkers and leaders of the future, Masdar Institute’s eight post-graduate programs cover diverse areas in advanced energy and sustainable technologies. With 240 students, representing nearly 40 countries, and an Emirati ratio of 40%, the research-driven institution contributes directly to developing the knowledge capital of the UAE and the region. Our participation in the Rio+20 Earth Summit reflects our status as one of the leading institutions that not only propagates the concept of sustainability but prepares the future leaders in practical solutions.”

Officials and faculty from Masdar Institute include Dr Lamya Nawaf Fawwaz and Dr Steven Griffiths, Executive Director of Institute Initiatives, will lead the participation at the Summit. In addition, Dr. Hosni Ghedira, Director, and Dr. Taha Ouarda, Deputy Director, of the UAE Research Centre for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment, will lead the official launch of the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy at the event.

Moreover, Dr Griffiths will lead and Dr. Ghedira will participate in a panel discussion titled ‘Masdar Institute’s Role in Shaping the Future Energy Landscape’. The two will highlight Masdar Institute’s successful global and local partnerships as well as underline the strategy adopted by the country’s leadership in R&D towards building a knowledge-based economy in the UAE. Darrin Morgan, Director of Biofuel Strategy at Boeing,and senior representatives from other Masdar Institute collaborators will provide an overview of their partnerships with Masdar Institute during the panel discussions.

Two students – Rasha Abd Rabu and Maitha Al Kaabi – will showcase their research work as members of the outreach program Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL). Abd Rabu will additionally engage women leaders at the forum titled ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment for Sustainable Development’. The pavilion and the Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy display will be managed by Ibrahim Alsharif, Research Assistant, with the support of Khaula Al Nuaimi and Shaikha Al Khayyal, Event Officers.

With community involvement one of the key principles that drive sustainability, Masdar Institute’s outreach initiative Young Future Energy Leaders (YFEL) program will also be showcased at the event.

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.

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