SRTI Park launches first MEA Energy Innovation Hub
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 aimed at accelerating opportunities in the energy, low carbon, and oil & gas sectors.
The launch was held during a virtual meeting on Sunday attended by His Excellency Suhail bin Mohammed Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure; Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park; senior UAE officials, CEOs and captains 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.
What is a special about MEA Energy Innovation Hub?
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 (research and development)
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.
Moving UAE forward to next 50 years
His Excellency 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,” he noted.
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.”
“The purpose of the MEA Energy Innovation Hub is to promote the latest innovations that drive the path of sustainable development, and find ways to confront the effects of climate change and mitigate global warming,” he added.
Global energy leader
Al Mazrouei 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.”
Al Mazrouei added MEA Energy Innovation Hub is a prolific and active platform for dialogue and healthy discussions that will bring the industry together towards innovation and improving the energy landscape in the UAE, the region and globally.
Engagements and activations
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, said 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 the pressing challenges (data power, asset inspection), unleashing emerging innovation (smart materials, integrated grids, automations, remote operations) and connecting ecosystems (hydrogen delivery, zero carbon, reusable infrastructure),” Al Mahmoudi explained.
He added: “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.”
“It will also support hub sponsors by offering access to the latest innovations, reinforcing their brand positioning with a full agenda of events and activations and innovation platform on pitch days. The innovation hub will promote the development of talent in companies, offer new expert knowledge and specialised training programmes such as exploratory innovation trips, masters and innovation schools as well as co-working and co-living spaces. There will also be disruptive solutions and new businesses for the market,” he concluded.
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