Masdar, together with its partners, will showcase how it is advancing the UAE leadership’s vision of promoting innovation and entrepreneurship across the UAE with a series of activities and inaugurations during UAE Innovation Week, from 22 – 28 November.
In line with the declaration of His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE that 2015 is the 'Year of Innovation', and the directive of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, this unique weeklong festival is a nationwide celebration of innovation for everyone in the UAE.
Masdar is currently advancing development in five of the seven sectors identified in the National Innovation Strategy. As the region’s leader in renewable energy and sustainability, Masdar is also testing out future transportation solutions at Masdar City; focusing on education and technology development through the Masdar Institute; and of critical importance to the region, driving innovative solutions in water security. Masdar-hosted events for Innovation Week will therefore touch on all of these sectors.
Looking forward to the week ahead, Masdar CEO, Dr Ahmad Belhoul said: “With innovation at the core of everything we do, Masdar is especially pleased to be part of this national initiative. Innovation is central to our industry sector, which evolves quickly and constantly. This week fits in with our overall vision and we welcome the public to our innovation oasis where we will be sharing our ideas.”
Dr Belhoul affirmed he has his vision set on the future and revealed that some of the activities for the week will feature innovative, systematic solutions to pressing challenges - technologies that Masdar is developing that have strong potential to become game changers in the industry, while still being commercially viable.
Kicking off the week on Sunday, Masdar, together with its partners, will launch a unique business accelerator for young entrepreneurs in sustainability, aimed at strengthening the City’s innovation ecosystem through a new way of mentoring entrepreneurs.
Recognising the importance of the water-energy nexus, Masdar has been investing in innovative technologies to improve energy efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of the desalination process. On Monday, Masdar and its partners will inaugurate the operational phase of the region’s first renewable-powered seawater desalination pilot in Al Ghantoot.
With an external Employee Engagement Day midweek, Masdar employees will have a chance to reflect on the meaning of innovation in their work.
Also on Tuesday, Masdar and the Zayed Future Energy Prize will partner with SkyNews Arabia for a panel on Climate Change and COP21, hosted at Masdar City on the sidelines of the official activities for Innovation Week. As part of ongoing efforts to raise awareness on innovation in clean technologies, Hasan Al Redaini, a Mubadala employee seconded to Masdar, who traveled with Solar Impulse, will share his experience in a talk at Paris Sorbonne University in Abu Dhabi.
A new technological addition to the Masdar Solar Hub will highlight world class research and development ongoing at Masdar City on Wednesday. Masdar City will also welcome the UAE student delegation to COP21 for a debating workshop, hosted under the Women in Sustainability, Environment and Renewable Energy (WiSER) Initiative.
On the same day, the Ministry of Presidential Affairs will host Masdar Sustainability Director, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany and other Masdar representatives to discuss innovation in sustainability.
Masdar employees and other Masdar City tenants will come together for a celebration of the UAE’s National Day on Thursday, in one of the UAE’s most innovative environments.
Masdar City will also showcase technological inventions and student projects in a week-long Innovation Hub exhibition, culminating in a Masdar Institute open day on Saturday.
Reflecting on the schedule for the week, Dr Belhoul stated that one of the secrets to innovation is partnership: “We are proud to have great partners in our work both globally and locally – from government agencies and multinationals, to start-ups and NGOs. Partnerships increase knowledge transfer and lead to even greater innovations.”
Dr Belhoul also added that the company would welcome Innovation Week becoming an annual event, “Innovation happens year round and we need to take time to celebrate the projects and people behind innovation. It also incentivises companies to pay more attention to innovation. Immediately after Innovation Week, we are participating in COP21 in Paris – where the partnership of countries will be key to finding solutions for climate change.”
Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2016 is also only a short time away, which provides a further environment for innovation.
All of these activities will be highlighted on relevant social media accounts, joining the wider #InnovationWeek campaign – @Masdar on Twitter and @MasdarOfficial on Instagram.