Masdar News

Over 200 Stakeholders in Higher Education, Energy and Aerospace Gather for ‘UAE Forum on Innovatition

26 Apr 2014 Press Release

More than 200 keystakeholders from government, academia, finance, business, industry and privatefoundations will be gathering for the UAE Forum on Innovation andEntrepreneurship 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 Limitedand the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the second annualinvitation-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 willexplore opportunities to accelerate innovation in higher education, energy, andaerospace. This industry-based approach to optimizing the innovation ecosystem follows recommendations of the previous Forum held last year. It will concludewith a tour of Masdar City.

Dr.Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “This year’s Forum focuseson one of the nine recommendations made in the previous Forum to provide astrong foundation for future stakeholder initiatives. The support of the UAEleadership continues to enable us to organize regionally relevant forums onbuilding capacities with an eye on the future. We believe this Forum willgenerate concepts that could inspire an innovation ecosystem for the benefit ofthe region.”

Dr.Charles C. Cooney, Faculty Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovationand the Robert T. Haslam Professor of Chemical Engineering,MIT said: “As a research-driven academic institution, MIT is keen tocollaborate with others in organizing events that highlight the need to boostinnovation. Actively engaging various industry stakeholders is one of the keyoptions to drive innovation and build an effective ecosystem for the UAE. Wehope the forthcoming UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014 in Abu Dhabiwill analyze specific opportunities that will help usher in new concepts in theindustry sectors.”

AbdulKarimAl Mazmi, General Manager and Chief Representative for BP UAE, said: “BPfocuses a great deal on innovation in our business. We see opportunities likethis to bring together experts from different industries and academia as agreat way to collaborate and to share knowledge. Our support for the UAE Forumon Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014 is about taking an opportunity toengage with others on how to develop an innovation ecosystem and to think aboutthe role that BP can play in promoting and harnessing technology innovations tomeet the challenges of the future.”

Speakersat the Forum will include Frank Wouters, Deputy Director General, InternationalRenewable 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, Departmentof Chemical Engineering, MIT, Jeffrey Johnson, President, Boeing Middle East, MohammedAlaoui, Senior Vice-President, Aerospace & Engineering Services Unit,Mubadala, Dr. John Evans, Vice President for International Engineering andTechnology, Lockheed Martin Corporation, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, ExecutiveVice President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Prof. MohamedYousif Baniyas, Vice Chancellor, Emirates College for Advanced Education, GrahamWalker, VP Reservoir Development, Middle East Region, BP, Her Excellency FatimaAl Shamsi, Assistant Undersecretary, Ministry of Energy, and Dr. Alejandro RíosGalvan, Director, Sustainable Bio-energy Research Consortium, and Professor ofPractice, Masdar Institute.

Dr.Charles C. Cooney, Faculty Director, Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation,will moderate the panel discussion on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in HigherEducation, while Dr. Nawal Al Hosany, Director, Zayed Future Energy Prize, andDirector of Sustainability, Masdar, will lead the discussions for the paneltitled ‘Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Energy’. Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson,Professor, Masdar Institute, Head of Masdar Institute Center for Innovation andEntrepreneurship (iInnovation), and Co-Founder, Orbital Sciences Corporation,will moderate the panel on aerospace. Dr. Mohamed Sassi, Interim Dean ofFaculty, 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: Howto Build a Small Spacecraft, and Why You Might Want To?’.

Theprogram for the Forum is available on-line at

Masdar staff