Masdar City launches Innovate to nurture sustainable technologies - GulfToday

Masdar City launches Innovate to nurture sustainable technologies


Masdar city’s initiative will focus on urban mobility, clean energy, food security, water, energy storage and AI.

Masdar City has announced the launch of “Innovate” initiative, which aims to identify and nurture the next generation of sustainable technologies. The global initiative will focus on the areas of urban mobility, clean energy, agritech and food security, water, energy storage, and artificial intelligence (AI).

The yearlong Masdar City initiative will provide participating small and mid-size enterprises (SMEs) with a platform to nurture their sustainable innovations and opportunities to engage with potential investors.

The companies will also have the opportunity to expand or move their operations to Masdar City Free Zone.

Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City, said, “Bringing the Innovate initiative to fruition is a natural progression for Masdar City as Abu Dhabi’s hub of innovation and R&D. Innovate will allow us to bring more of the world’s best innovation-focused companies to the City, to further the R&D of these technologies, all while benefitting from Masdar City’s unique offerings.”

“By investing in Abu Dhabi’s innovation ecosystem, this initiative will further support the development of pioneering technologies around key green transition sectors such as clean energy, AI, water and other Fourth Industrial Revolution sectors. Companies will benefit from the support provided by Masdar City in helping them grow their businesses in the UAE and wider region, while also making a positive contribution to the UAE’s sustainable economic development,” Balalaa continued.

As part of its year-round programme, Innovate has also partnered with Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW), one of the world’s largest sustainability gatherings, to host the Innovate hub at the World Future Energy Summit, which will showcase leading solutions and facilitate networking opportunities with potential investors. During ADSW 2022, Innovate will also host a virtual forum to lead discussions and identify how early-stage technologies can be accelerated.

Balalaa concluded, “Each quarter over the next twelve months, Masdar City will scout for more companies to participate in a series of events and to feature on the Innovate microsite. Through partnerships with UAE government bodies, Innovate will continue to highlight Masdar City’s and ADSW’s stakeholders’ innovative outlook, and Masdar City Free Zone will invite companies to move to Masdar City.” Masdar City is home to more than 1,000 businesses, encompassing a variety of organisations — from multinationals and SMEs to homegrown startups - committed to advancing the sustainability agenda and spearheading the innovations to realise greener, more sustainable urban living. By basing their businesses in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, companies will benefit from the exceptional digital infrastructure already in place as well as highly advanced regulatory frameworks and other R&D initiatives.

Meanwhile an innovative solution that enables people to grow healthy produce at home, took centre stage at an event held to mark World Food Day at Expo Dubai 2020. The app-controlled HydroArtPod smart garden, developed by a Masdar City-based start-up, was the only technology product to be featured during the event, hosted under Expo’s Programme for People and Planet.

The HydroArtPod has been developed by Masdar City-based byAlinePate, a tech start-up being incubated at the region’s first sustainability-focused startup accelerator, The Catalyst. The automated device requires minimal user effort, while reducing the reliance on chemicals, packaging, and transportation in the supply chain, ensuring a steady supply of fresh produce with minimal food waste. Visitors to the event were able to learn just how easy it can be to grow healthy fruits and vegetables at home.

Start-up founder and CEO Richard Pate also took part in an onstage panel discussion on growing better food and how this can positively impact the environment.

Cinar Kurra, CEO, The Catalyst, said, “We are delighted to support HydroArtPod by AlinePate and look forward to watching their business grow and develop. As the region’s first sustainability-focused start-up accelerator, the role of The Catalyst is to encourage and stimulate entrepreneurship in Masdar City. The Catalyst is a joint venture with BP and via the funding, training and mentorship of innovative startups, we actively accelerate the development of viable technology businesses and catalyze innovation and entrepreneurship while providing fundamental support to early lifecycle startups.” “At The Catalyst we also provide selected applicants with capital that can be converted into equity as their business bears fruit over the long term,” Kurra continued.

HydroArtPod inventor, Aline Pate said, “My inspiration for designing the HydroArtPod was to help every home be able to make a little difference toward their health and minimise our impact on the environment.

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