Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park: a new era shaping the future of R&D in the region

The Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (STRI Park), an initiative of the American University of Sharjah Enterprises (AUSE) was established in 2016 by a royal decree of His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Ruler of Sharjah and a member of the Supreme Council of the UAE.

The park aims to develop and manage an innovation ecosystem within a free zone that promotes research and development and supports enterprise activities and collaboration between industry, government, and academia.

The park focuses on six verticals: water technology, digitalisation, transport and logistics, environmental technology, renewable technology and production, design and architecture.

Phase 1 of the park is comprised of three interlinked buildings totaling approximately 60,000 square feet, and will house the park’s headquarters, labs and innovation centers, in addition to a host of Startups, SMEs and anchor companies focused on research, development and innovation.

Future phases will include a center of excellence, a technology museum, a hotel, a convention center and housing units.

What distinguishes SRTI Park from other, similar facilities is the presence of an integrated and comprehensive University City. The city includes a number of universities, with over 45,000 students and 2,000 PhD holders.

The aim of SRTI Park is to provide an environment conducive to creativity and innovation by creating an attractive and sustainable park with world-class infrastructure and services. It will support, promote and develop an innovation system that will enhance the emirate’s status as a global destination in the fields of research and technology.

Launch Of Sharjah’s Innovation Economy Report

As part of a joint effort between Sharjah stakeholders and the British governments, the Innovation Economy Report highlights a number of steps that will be taken by SRTI Park to help Sharjah establish a knowledge economy and becoming a regional R&D hub.

The report was launched earlier this year at the UK-Sharjah Innovation Forum at the House of Lords in London, in the presence of high-level government representatives, members of the House of Lords, CEOs and members of the American University of Sharjah’s Board of Trustees.

The report put the park on the path to future cities as part of an ongoing effort to improve cooperation and knowledge transfer with international partners.

Design and Constructions of 3D Printed Houses In Sharjah

SRTI Park has announced that it has attracted international companies specialised in the construction of buildings with 3D Printing techniques. The first 3D Printed house in the park will be built by the third quarter of this year.

This project comes as a result of collaboration between government, private, and academic institution. A Dutch firm, CyBe Construction was selected as the technology provider to build the 3D house in SRTI Park. American University of Sharjah (AUS) will support with research and talent.

The university is working on the development of this technology and training students through conducting applied scientific research by students, faculty members and a number of researchers from specialised companies, including Middle East Engineering Technologies (MEET), which focuses on the construction of 3D Printed structures. A group of students from Faculty of Engineering at AUS will get hands-on training in this technique.

The entire house will be printed with state-of-the-art technology, while the design will stay true to its roots in the UAE. This move aims to establish Sharjah as the preferred destination for future architecture as the construction sector is gradually changes globally.

By introducing 3D Printing, SRTI Park is creating a proactive and supportive environment for experiments and research in the field of future building technologies and fourth generation technologies. In addition, the technology is expected to reduce the costs of collection, transport and construction.

His Excellency Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park

In a statement, SRTI Park’s CEO, Hussain Al Mahmoudi emphasised the importance of encouraging and activating the role of academia and help faculty members and students move from a scientific research phase to the applied practical stage through the park. The park has already succeeed in attracting a number of international companies and partners, including the United Nations, to establish technological laboratories.

"We did not wait until it is complete; the park is already a working, functioning R&D center. We started on the ground and the international investment companies specialising in research and technology began their work on the land of the park," Mahmoudi said.

“At the park, you will see a working hydroponic farming lab using solar-evaporated sea water coming directly from the Sharjah coast, a pre-fab housing constructed from recycled plastic, stronger than steel but where an entire family house could live of its produce - consuming as much electricity for cooling as an average Sharjah family home,” he added.

Additionally, Mahmoudi said that SRTI Park has broken ground on an elevated train pilot track that will serve to highlight an urban transportation solution that will rival the hyperloop.

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