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Masdar Institute Launches Five ‘ICenters’ To Give New Thrust To Research In Sustainability

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​iCenters to Help Lead Innovation and Knowledge Development in Key Sectors of Abu Dhabi’s Vision 2030

Abu Dhabi-UAE: 19 January, 2014 – Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, today announced the launch of five Institute Research Centers (iCenters), consolidating research activities to support its next phase of growth as a research intensive university.

The five iCenters – Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation), Institute Center for Energy (iEnergy), Institute Center for Water and Environment (iWater), Institute Center for Microsystems (iMicro) and Institute Center for Smart and Sustainable Systems (iSmart) – will collectively support Masdar Institute’s continued evolution into a regionally-focused but globally-recognized university that produces knowledge and technologies across the sustainability spectrum. Moreover, the iCenters will help drive Masdar Institute’s contribution to developing new technologies and building human capital for the direct benefit of the UAE and the region.

Each iCenter focuses on a specific research area. iInnovation focuses on accelerating the pace of innovation and entrepreneurship throughout the UAE, while iEnergy works towards sustainable production, transport, use and storage of energy. iWater addresses clean water production and management, and water resource challenges faced by the UAE and the region. iMicro serves as a research and development hub for the UAE’s emerging semiconductor ecosystem with research activities in semiconductor device design and fabrication, circuit and system design, photonics and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). Finally, iSmart addresses the development of smart and sustainable engineering systems through work on policy and system design and analysis using novel modeling and computational tools.

The five iCenters reflect the outcome of more than 40 successful research collaborations Masdar Institute currently has with government and private sector organizations over the last few years. These centers focus on early-stage research and serve as bridges between industry and academia, and are expected to bring new research collaborations. The iCenters will attract research projects and funds, while interfacing with donors, industry and the government. In short, they will initiate the work that will lead to research and innovation in their specific fields.

Dr. Bruce Ferguson, Professor, Engineering Systems & Management, will head iInnovation and Dr. Taha Ouarda, Professor, Water & Environmental Engineering, will head iWater. Dr. Jens Ejbye Schmidt, Professor in Biofuels, Chemical Engineering, will head iEnergy. Dr. Sgouris Sgouridis, Associate Professor, Engineering Systems and Management, will head iSmart and Dr. Dr. Ibrahim M. Elfadel, will head iMicro.

Dr Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “The iCenters will aim to provide strategic and operational direction for Masdar Institute's basic and applied energy research in order to achieve research excellence. In addition, they will serve Masdar Institute faculty, students, and stakeholders by supporting a collaborative environment. With the support of the UAE leadership, Masdar Institute is progressing towards a second phase of growth in which the consolidation of research activities will help us lead in research and innovation.”

Each iCenter has its own set of objectives and thematic areas, while additionally being complemented by the sponsored research centers already operating. Masdar Institute’s established sponsored research centers, which include the Research Center for Renewable Energy Mapping and Assessment (ReCREMA, sponsored by the UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Environment Agency Abu Dhabi, Dubai Supreme Council of Energy and the International Renewable Energy Agency - IRENA), and the Sustainable Bioenergy Research Consortium (SBRC, sponsored by founding members The Boeing Company, Etihad Airways, and UOP Honeywell as well as Safran, the more recent member), TwinLab 3-Dimensional Stacked Chips Research Center (TL-3DSC, sponsored on the UAE side by the Advanced Technology Investment Company), and the ATIC-SRC Center of Excellence for Energy-Efficient Electronic Systems (ACE4S, sponsored by the Semiconductor Research Corporation and the Advanced Technology Investment Company). 

The launch of the iCenters is designed to drive research innovation while developing human capital that support Abu Dhabi’s vision for economic development.

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.

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