UAEâ€™s Holistic Approach to Developing Robust R&D Infrastructure Most Appropriate, Says Masdar Institute President
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh Participates in Workshop on ‘Building a Robust R&D Infrastructure in Abu Dhabi’ at WFES 2012
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 17 January, 2011 – The UAE has fittingly adopted a holistic and multidimensional approach through capital formation and market creation for the development of a robust R&D infrastructure to diversify the economy and move towards a knowledge-based society, according to Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies.
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh was speaking at a workshop titled ‘Building a robust R&D infrastructure in Abu Dhabi’ at the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2012 that opened on 16 January at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC). The four-day event has gathered over 3,000 most influential global leaders in renewable energy, including heads of state, policy makers, government officials, business leaders, and academics to discuss, promote and debate the challenges and solutions to the world’s energy requirements.
Dr. Moavenzadeh said: “The capital formation measures initiated by the UAE leadership covers human, intellectual and financial segments, while market creation measures include start-ups, joint ventures and entrepreneurial partnerships. To contribute to this very important initiative, the leadership has recognized the importance of collaboration among government, industry and academia.
“Creating a robust R&D infrastructure is not a short-term undertaking. Unwavering financial commitment must be made to ensure momentum is maintained and that the infrastructure is put in place to drive each phase of growth. This is the first and key component of the R&D plan.”
Listing the other components, Dr Moavenzadeh said in addition to funding basic research, which develops new ideas and is mostly carried out by academic institutions, others include applied research that translates new ideas and understandings into innovations that are the basis of industrial R&D, as well as demonstration and deployment that creates economic value and adds to the competitiveness of the economy. Commitment and involvement of academic institutions, industrial enterprises, government organizations and businesses are the other necessary ingredients, he concluded.
Citing the example of the University Leadership Council that was launched in the UAE recently under the patronage of His Excellency Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister for Higher Education and Scientific Research, Dr. Moavenzadeh said the new organization is mandated to focus on the need for R&D in the transformation of the economy in its capacity as an advisory board.
He added: “The University Leadership Council will host a forum on R&D in February, bringing together experts from the industry, government and academia to focus on the needs for the development of a robust R&D infrastructure in the UAE.”
The emirate of Abu Dhabi has already initiated a long-term plan to develop a sufficient and resilient infrastructure capable of supporting the anticipated economic growth in the coming years. However, the Abu Dhabi Government also aims to ensure the development of an appropriate infrastructure while preserving the environment, which is designated as a priority area.
Established in 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.