Abu Dhabi-UAE: 6 May 2013 – Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world's preeminent award for excellence in renewable energy and sustainability, participated at the ‘UAE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2013', jointly hosted by the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and its partner, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Abu Dhabi.
Held from 29 - 30 April, the forum was inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Nahayan Mubarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development.
“Creating a sustainable energy future relies on technology innovation, and by recognizing and awarding excellence, the Zayed Future Energy Prize aims to fill a much needed gap in catalyzing innovation in renewable energy and sustainability solutions,” said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. “Initiatives such as the Prize underscore the commitment by the leadership of the UAE to create an innovation culture – to encourage organisations, individuals and schools across the world to participate in finding the solutions needed to solve the energy challenge.
“By participating in the inaugural Innovation forum, we hope to raise awareness on the Prize mandate among entrepreneurs, organisations and students in the UAE, and to increase submissions for the 2014 edition of the Prize,” added Dr Jaber.
Representing the Prize, Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director, participated in a panel on ‘Perspectives on Innovation and Entrepreneurship' that explored the challenges and solutions to encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation in the UAE across various industry verticals. The panel also examined the responsibility of the government to encourage and facilitate research, innovation and commercialization activities in the UAE.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize participation was part of the Prize outreach campaign to engage with organizations, individuals and policy makers in the UAE to increase the quality and caliber of submissions to the 2014 edition of the Prize. In 2013, a school from the UAE, the Sheikh Khalifa Bangladeshi Islamia School, won the Asia region Global High School award. Submissions for the sixth edition of the Prize will close on 5 August, 2013 and winners will be announced at the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony scheduled for 20 January, 2014 as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
The UAE Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum 2013 brought together more than 200 private and public stakeholders in innovation and entrepreneurship to discuss the need for a healthy innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the UAE. In addition to faculty and officials from Masdar Institute and MIT, experienced entrepreneurs, investors, industry executives, government officials, and academicians from other UAE universities also shared their perceptions during the panel discussions. During the forum, the Masdar Institute announced its plans to launch the Center for Innovation Systems and Entrepreneurship (CISE) – a new initiative to further develop and spread entrepreneurial spirit among youth in the UAE.