Sharjah's SRTI Park launches first MEA Energy Innovation Hub

The collaborative ecosystem will accelerate opportunities in the energy, low carbon, and oil & gas sectors

  
United Arab Emirates' Oil Minister Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei speaks during the International Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Conference 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 25, 2020.

United Arab Emirates' Oil Minister Suhail Mohamed Al Mazrouei speaks during the International Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage Conference 2020 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia February 25, 2020.

REUTERS/Ahmed Yosri
 

The Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) has launched the MEA Energy Innovation Hub aimed at accelerating opportunities in the energy, low carbon, and oil & gas sectors.

Supported by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the launch was held during a virtual meeting on Sunday attended by Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park; as well as senior UAE officials and experts of the energy industry.

Based at SRTI Park, the MEA Energy Innovation Hub will serve as the regional gateway to innovation and business growth, where all players in the energy ecosystem collaborate and address the main challenges of the sector.

In particular, the energy hub will launch, scale up and commercialise technology ventures through initiatives such as accelerators and collaboration programme. It will also develop human capital and foster the triple-helix engagement among the government, private industries and academia.

SRTI Park is collaborating with Spanish innovation consultancy Barrabés.biz in building the MEA Energy Innovation Hubthat will engage stakeholders to conduct business in an efficient and sustainable as well as support renewable developers to grow amid intensifying competition and deliver services that will meet new market challenges.

MEA Energy Innovation Hub is a unique platform that boosts the UAE’s position as a pole of innovation. It will have a governance board and will offer platforms, spaces, sandboxes, alliances and collaborations. It will also attract SMEs and corporate investors as well as funding for R&D. The partners and stakeholders of MENA Energy Innovation Hub are corporates belonging to the energy sector and allied sectors. They will collaborate to bring resolution to challenges and create solutions with partners in influencing the evolution of the energy sector.

The academia and research centres will benefit from the innovation by means of

knowledge transfer, new collaborative projects as well as positioning and creating R&D initiatives. The pole of innovation will result in the growth of the sector, resolution of challenges, public- private partnerships, demand generation, job creation and attraction of investment to the territory.

Various programs, activities, services and initiatives will be conducted over time, including new business and global startup entrepreneurship programmes, hackathons, sandbox acceleration programs, and venture markets.

Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, said the UAE’s possession of knowledge and innovation centres makes it more capable of crossing the next fifty years with future skills based on the concept of innovation, creativity and excellence in various vital sectors, including energy. “The priority in the agenda of the UAE government is creating a prosperous future for generations and consolidating the leadership and competitiveness of the UAE globally. Investing in innovation such as the MEA Energy Innovation Hub will accelerate opportunities in the energy, low carbon, and oil & gas sectors.”

Al Mazrouei added: "The UAE is one of the world leaders on renewable energy and a pioneer in adopting international best practices in the energy sector. The UAE is one of the first countries to rely on renewable energy as an important part of the energy mix system, and it leads global efforts in the sustainability of renewable energy and preserving the environment.”

Al Mazrouei also noted the UAE aims to benefit from hydrogen energy as one of the means to achieve sustainable development in the UAE, as it can be produced from available and traditional sources such as oil and gas or from renewable sources such as solar energy, while hydrogen production is considered a fossil fuel source.

He emphasised: “Our region is currently the most competitive in terms of cost at $1.5 per kilogram, indicating that the development of sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy projects is the core of the UAE's international efforts, and we are committed to cooperating with our partners locally, regionally and internationally, to find new solutions to the old challenges related to the energy sector - through partnerships, knowledge sharing, capacity building and access to optimal financing.”

Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said that SRTI Park is collaborating with Spanish innovation consultancy Barrabés.biz in building the MEA Energy Innovation Hub. He said engagements and activations for stakeholder engagement will be announced soon.

“The MEA Energy Innovation Hub is planned with milestones and activities to have the greatest impact on the sector, including tackling pressing challenges such as data power, asset inspection, and unleashing emerging innovation and connecting ecosystems,” Al Mahmoudi explained. “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 programs to solve complex challenges; the Pilot Factory to ensure a perfect fit for implementing technologies; and a Sandbox to showcase and test innovative solutions.”

 

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