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New UAE Technology Accelerator to Target Innovators

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 21 January, 2015 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and global energy giant BP today announced plans for the launch of a technology innovation accelerator focused on emerging energy, water and other sustainable technologies.

The new BP and Masdar Institute Technology Accelerator will support the creation of start-up companies through sponsoring technical research, providing commercial input, and supplying mentoring and business plan support. The accelerator will also work with local stakeholders in the development of technology incubators and seed funds to extend the innovation ecosystem and substantially increase the chances of success for new companies.

“By developing this technology innovation accelerator with BP, we will provide UAE innovators with opportunities to realize the full potential of their ideas, directly in line with the UAE National Innovation Strategy,” said Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute.  “As an institution based on sustainable research, we focus on engaging the right stakeholders for the benefit of the wider regional and global community. We thank the country’s leadership for their support that continues to enable us to seek productive collaborations, relevant to the future of the UAE and the world.”

BP Ventures will play a key role in connecting local start-ups with global investors and potential acquirers. A Round Table discussion of the new technology innovation accelerator among UAE innovation stakeholders was held at the World Future Energy Summit 2015.

Mr. AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP’s General Manager and Chief Representative in Abu Dhabi, said, “As an organization that revolves around technology innovation, BP is delighted to further expand the collaboration with Masdar Institute in support of the UAE National Innovation Strategy. This concept is specially tailored to suit the requirements of the youth in the UAE and the region. We hope the agreement demonstrates our commitment to developing local capability as a key theme for BP in the UAE.”

The programs included in the accelerator were developed in part by benchmarking against other notably successful business accelerators and global corporate and sovereign innovation accelerators. It will be specially designed to contribute significantly to the strategic vision of the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy and to the needs of the UAE innovation ecosystem, while building on the strengths of Masdar Institute, BP and other UAE innovation stakeholders.

Masdar Institute and BP have been strengthening their partnership since signing a collaboration agreement in 2014. A UAE national student, Saeed Al Nofeli from the Engineering Systems and Management Department, and Eanna R. Farrell from the Water and Environmental Engineering Department, were recently declared the BP Innovation Scholars for 2014.

Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson, Professor of Practice and head of the Masdar Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), said, “We foresee our collaboration gaining further strength in the months ahead. iInnovation will be working closely with BP to ensure that the new accelerator meets the needs of Masdar Institute and of other UAE innovation stakeholders. Moreover, there are other collaborations being proposed in the coming months. This will bring overall benefits to the community, especially the innovation ecosystem.”

BP Ventures will be mentoring and linking local ecosystems.

Dr. Issam Dairanieh, Managing Director, BP Ventures, said, “BP is bringing its demonstrated skills in nucleating and developing entrepreneurship to the UAE. BP Ventures will continue to be involved in designing programs, training and mentoring local talent as well as assist in connecting the local ecosystems with others in the US and the UK.”

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