Supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched the MEA Energy Innovation Hub, in a bid to create opportunities in the energy, low carbon and oil and gas sectors.
The launch was held during a virtual meeting which was attended by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, and Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, along with senior Emirati officials, CEOs and leaders of the energy industry.
In particular, the hub will launch, scale up and commercialise technology ventures, through initiatives such as accelerators and collaboration programmes. It will also, develop human capital and foster triple-helix engagement among the government, private industries and academia.
SRTI Park is collaborating with the Spanish innovation consultancy, Barrabés.biz, in building the hub, which will engage stakeholders to conduct their business efficiently and sustainably.
The hub is a unique platform for boosting the UAE’s stature as a centre of innovation. It will also attract small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) and corporate investors, as well as research and development (R&D) funding, said the statement from SRTI Park.
The hub’s partners and stakeholders are corporates belonging to the energy sector and related sectors, it added.
Academic and research centres will benefit from the innovation through knowledge transfer and new collaborative projects, as well as through the positioning and creation of R&D initiatives.
Various programmes, activities, services and initiatives will be organised, including new business and global start-up entrepreneurship programmes, hackathons, sandbox acceleration programmes, and venture markets.
On the new venture, Al Mazrouei said: "The purpose of the hub is to promote the latest innovations that drive sustainable development and find ways of confronting the effects of climate change and mitigate global warming."
He pointed out that the UAE aims to benefit from hydrogen, as one of the means of achieving sustainable development.
"Our region is currently the most competitive in terms of cost at $1.5 per kilogramme, indicating that the development of sustainable infrastructure and the launch of renewable energy projects are the core of the UAE's relevant international efforts," he added.
Al Mazrouei added that the is a prolific and active platform for dialogue and healthy discussions, which will bring the industry together towards innovation and improve the UAE’s energy landscape, both regionally and globally.
SRTI Park CEO Hussain Al Mahmoudi said the hub is planned to have milestones and activities that will offer the greatest impact on the sector, including tackling pressing challenges, such as data power and asset inspection; unleashing emerging innovations, such as smart materials, integrated grids, automation and remote operations; and connecting ecosystems (hydrogen delivery, zero carbon, reusable infrastructure).
"The hub will feature an intense roadmap of activities for sponsors, including an annual Global Startup Convening to give birth to global game changers; accelerator programmes to solve complex challenges; the Pilot Factory to ensure a perfect fit for implementing technologies, and a Sandbox to showcase and test innovative solutions," he added.