Dubai, UAE: Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s Research and Development (R&D) Centre, through the Al-Baheth programme, develops and refines Emirati talents and competencies. Thanks to this programme, they can engage in research, competitions, events and training, organised by the Centre in cooperation with major international companies and a select group of researchers, academics and international speakers. So far, the programme has hosted 95 students for internships from 20 different nationalities from 23 local and international universities, to develop their knowledge, and experience and prepare them for the job market. This enhances the Centre’s role in advancing research in energy and water to prepare for future challenges. Since the launch of the Al Baheth programme, the R&D Centre has attracted 15 trainees, including five Emiratis, to join DEWA’s team.

HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, said that the R&D Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, has consolidated its position as a pioneering centre for solar technologies. It contributes to developing the clean and renewable energy sector worldwide by enriching the scientific community with specialised research, spreading knowledge, and developing the capabilities of the researchers. This enhances Dubai’s position as a global hub for research and development in solar power, smart grids, energy and water efficiency and capacity building. This promotes Dubai’s global role in research and development in solar energy, smart grids, energy efficiency and water. It also strives to build capacity in these sectors. Al Tayer noted that attracting the finest researchers and academics from different nationalities contributes to exchanging the best local and global practices and experiences. This also enhances the public, private, and academic partnerships to turn Dubai into a global hub for R&D and help it become the top destination for scholars and researchers.

“The Centre supports the Dubai 10X initiative launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, which mandates the Government of Dubai to be a global leader that is 10 years ahead of all other cities. The Centre brings together 44 researchers, including 26 PhD and master degree holders. Since its launch, the Centre has published 84 conference papers in international scholarly journals. It has registered 5 patents so far, and new patents are underway,” added Al Tayer.

“The Al Baheth programme promotes and enhances the culture of research and development, develops professional competencies, and attracts Emirati graduates to work at the R&D Centre and cover its various activities. These include organising seminars, conferences, workshops, training programmes, competitions, field visits, and university and school visits. The programme provides Emirati talents with the opportunity to participate in the development of projects undertaken by DEWA and its R&D Centre. It also engages local and international universities in R&D by sending the best technical candidates to work with DEWA’s researchers in different areas,” said Waleed Bin Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA.

The programme comprises four categories: Internships, Capstone projects fund, visiting researchers, seminars and workshops. Al Baheth aims to engage employees and academic institutions in research and development efforts. Under the umbrella of the Al Baheth programme, the R&D Centre held 30 technical sessions in 2021. The sessions tackled several topics, in collaboration with international experts, including solar cells, machine learning, deep learning algorithms, robots, digital manufacturing, additive manufacturing, blockchain, and 3D printers. The R&D Centre organised five virtual seminars on smart grids, the cycle of satellites, complex analytics on Big Data Series and solar resources knowledge. The programme also held five workshops on the role of dynamic glazing technology in sustainable buildings, Robotics and Robotic Operating Systems (ROS), photovoltaic solar panels in the UAE, material characterisation and battery design, and awareness of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.