Release date: 21 January 2014
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and BP today jointly announced they have signed a multi-year Technology Innovation Collaboration Agreement in support of innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE.
According to the agreement, Masdar Institute and BP will jointly contribute US$7 million over six years in Masdar Institute-based innovation and entrepreneurship programs. The two partners will combine BP’s expertise and resources in developing innovation and entrepreneurship with Masdar Institute’s existing programmes to enhance the region’s technology commercialisation capabilities.
The agreement was signed by Mr AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP General Manager and Chief Representative in the UAE and Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President of Masdar Institute in the presence of Mr Vince Cable, UK Secretary of State for Business and Innovation. The ceremony was held during World Future Energy Summit 2014, a global event hosted annually in Abu Dhabi.
The UK Business Secretary Vince Cable said: "This deal is an innovative partnership between the UK's leading energy company BP and the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology to invest in entrepreneurs with promising technologies.
"I have been championing government and business in the UK to take a more long term, strategic approach to investment. This agreement shows how a major energy company can play a positive role in supporting wider economic development for Abu Dhabi and beyond. It also builds on the mutual interest of the UK and the UAE to generate growth through exports by promoting overseas trade, innovation and sustainable technologies.”
AbdulKarim AlMazmi, BP’s General Manager and Chief Representative in Abu Dhabi, comments: “BP’s contribution will help Masdar Institute to expand its work to identify and support the promising new technologies and entrepreneurs. BP will bring its own experience in finding and investing in technology innovators. We are also considering ways to boost seed grant funds for entrepreneurs as well as mentoring and training. BP is delighted to have this opportunity to collaborate with Masdar Institute in a long-term programme to enhance Abu Dhabi’s capability in nurturing important and exciting technologies – an important driver and enabler for building a diverse and stable economy aligned with the Abu Dhabi Environmental Vision 2030.”
Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “We are delighted to enter into this collaborative agreement with BP on technology innovation which remains one of the crucial drivers of the new age economy. The continuous support of the UAE leadership has helped us to establish new partnerships not only in research and human capital development, but also innovation and entrepreneurship. We expect the agreement will further support innovation in advanced and sustainable technologies.”
Currently, Masdar Institute is driving research and innovation along with entrepreneurship through the Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), headed by Dr Bruce Walker Ferguson, Professor of Practice, Engineering Systems and Management at Masdar Institute and Vice-Chairman of the Carnegie Institution for Science.
Professor Ferguson said: “BP is a corporate leader in supporting early-stage sustainable technology companies in many different countries. Its resources and broad experience will greatly assist our Center’s efforts to adapt best practices from other innovation ecosystems to the needs of technology entrepreneurs in the UAE. The lessons we learn from this novel industry-university collaboration should speed up technology innovation in the UAE as well as in many other countries, thereby helping to create high-quality jobs and strengthen and diversify economic performance.”
iInnovation will also initiate a novel Masdar Institute-based ‘innovation zone’, adapted from free zone structure, to facilitate supportive environment and entrepreneur access to resources. Moreover, it will engage a broad range of stakeholders in periodic discussions on innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE, while initiating industry-specific, industry-sponsored ecosystem policy councils to accelerate innovation in the country.
Serving as a key pillar of innovation and human capital, Masdar Institute remains fundamental to Masdar’s core objectives of developing Abu Dhabi’s knowledge economy and finding solutions to humanity’s toughest challenges such as climate change.
Established as an on-going collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute integrates theory and practice to incubate a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, working to develop the critical thinkers and leaders of tomorrow. With its world-class faculty and top-tier students, the Institute is committed to finding solutions to the challenges of clean energy and climate change through education and research.
BP is a global energy company and has been working in the UAE since the 1930s. Today its interests include shareholdings in the Abu Dhabi Marine Operating Company (BP share 14.67%), the Abu Dhabi Gas Liquefaction Company (10%), the Natural Gas Shipping Company (10%) and Bunduq Company Limited (3%). BP is one of the biggest investors in Abu Dhabi’s oil and gas sector and brings global expertise in giant oil fields to help maximize value for Abu Dhabi. BP also supports several community projects in Abu Dhabi, focusing on education and enterprise. With respect to innovation and entrepreneurship, BP brings extensive experience in supporting innovative energy technologies through its work in the UK and India and has and long track record in early stage investing thorough its corporate venture capital team.
Masdar Institute of Science and Technology (Masdar Institute) was established by the government of Abu Dhabi as a not-for-profit, private graduate university to develop indigenous R&D capacity in Abu Dhabi addressing issues of importance to the region.
In collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Masdar Institute has developed an academic and research platform that articulates its mission and vision according to critical energy and sustainability challenges.
An important characteristic of Masdar Institute is its focus on complex real-world problems that require a multidisciplinary approach for the development of solutions from an integrated technology, systems and policy perspective. This multi-interdisciplinary and integrated approach is supported by the structure of its academic programs and by the emphasis placed on engaging external partners from industry, government, and other academic institutions in collaborative activities.
Masdar Institute offers degrees in:
Reem Mohammed, Manager – Communications and External Affairs, BP Abu Dhabi, Reem.Mohammed@bp.com, +971 2 493 5565
Bader Al Zarei, Director - Communications, Public Affairs Department, firstname.lastname@example.org, +971 02 8109372