Abu Dhabi-UAE: 27 April, 2014 – More than 200 key stakeholders from government, academia, finance, business, industry and private foundations will be gathering for the UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014 in Abu Dhabi, the organizers announced today.
Hosted by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, in collaboration with BP Exploration Operating Company Limited and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the second annual invitation-only Forum will be held on 28 April at the St Regis Abu Dhabi Corniche.
A plenary session, three simultaneous panel discussions and two innovation workshops will explore opportunities to accelerate innovation in higher education, energy, and aerospace. This industry-based approach to optimizing the innovation ecosystem follows recommendations of the previous Forum held last year. It will conclude with a tour of Masdar City.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “This year’s Forum focuses on one of the nine recommendations made in the previous Forum to provide a strong foundation for future stakeholder initiatives. The support of the UAE leadership continues to enable us to organize regionally relevant forums on building capacities with an eye on the future. We believe this Forum will generate concepts that could inspire an innovation ecosystem for the benefit of the region.”
Dr. Charles C. Cooney, Faculty Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation and the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering, MIT said: “As a research-driven academic institution, MIT is keen to collaborate with others in organizing events that highlight the need to boost innovation. Actively engaging various industry stakeholders is one of the key options to drive innovation and build an effective ecosystem for the UAE. We hope the forthcoming UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014 in Abu Dhabi will analyze specific opportunities that will help usher in new concepts in the industry sectors.”
AbdulKarim Al Mazmi, General Manager and Chief Representative for BP UAE, said: “BP focuses a great deal on innovation in our business. We see opportunities like this to bring together experts from different industries and academia as a great way to collaborate and to share knowledge. Our support for the UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014 is about taking an opportunity to engage with others on how to develop an innovation ecosystem and to think about the role that BP can play in promoting and harnessing technology innovations to meet the challenges of the future.”
Speakers at the Forum will include Frank Wouters, Deputy Director General, International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Tony Douglas, CEO of Abu Dhabi Airports, and Dr. Anant Agarwal, edX President. Panelists will include Professor Brian Norton, President, Dublin Institute of Technology, Professor Karen Gleason, Department of Chemical Engineering, MIT, Jeffrey Johnson, President, Boeing Middle East, Mohammed Alaoui, Senior Vice-President, Aerospace & Engineering Services Unit, Mubadala, Dr. John Evans, Vice President for International Engineering and Technology, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Prof. Mohamed Yousif Baniyas, Vice Chancellor, Emirates College for Advanced Education, Graham Walker, VP Reservoir Development, Middle East Region, BP, Her Excellency Fatima Al Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy, and Dr. Alejandro Ríos Galvan, Director, Sustainable Bio-energy Research Consortium, and Professor of Practice, Masdar Institute.
Dr. Charles C. Cooney, Faculty Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation, will moderate the panel discussion on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Higher Education, while Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Director, Zayed Future Energy Prize, and Director of Sustainability, Masdar, will lead the discussions for the panel titled ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Energy’. Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson, Professor, Masdar Institute, Head of Masdar Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), and Co-Founder, Orbital Sciences Corporation, will moderate the panel on aerospace. Dr. Mohamed Sassi, Interim Dean of Faculty, and Professor of Mechanical and Materials Sciences, Masdar Institute, will lead the innovation workshop on ‘Fracturing’, while Ms. Sarah Amiri, Project Manager, Advanced Projects, Emirates Institution for Advanced Science & Technology (EIAST), will conduct the ‘Aerospace Innovation Workshop: How to Build a Small Spacecraft, and Why You Might Want To?’.