Sustainable Cities Research Center to Be Built in Middle East

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By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorAbu Dhabi, UAE–Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy initiative, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Co. (Mubadala), has partnered with one of the world’s leading applied research organizations, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, to develop a Sustainable Cities Research Center in Masdar City. Masdar City, currently under construction, will be the world’s first […]

By Anuradha Kher, Online News EditorAbu Dhabi, UAE–Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s multi-faceted renewable energy initiative, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Development Co. (Mubadala), has partnered with one of the world’s leading applied research organizations, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, to develop a Sustainable Cities Research Center in Masdar City. Masdar City, currently under construction, will be the world’s first carbon-neutral, zero-waste city completely powered by renewable energy. The city is said to be the most ambitious sustainable development in the world, and will be a guinea pig for clean technologies. The Sustainable Cities Research Center would be the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft’s first Middle Eastern research hub.  “Our mission is to accelerate innovation in clean and renewable technologies and make these available and affordable on a global scale,” says Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. “We believe global collaboration is essential to achieving this mission and our partnerships with educational institutes such as MIT, DLR, Imperial College and the Tokyo Institute of Technology, are proof of this.”  “The collaboration with Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will also ensure Masdar plays a key role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy sector; driving continual innovation and commercialization of clean and sustainable energy technologies,” he adds.  The research center will focus on critical technologies for sustainable cities of the future including solar energy, energy efficient buildings, water and desalination technologies, cooling technologies, intelligent electricity supply concepts, electro-mobility and carbon footprint measurement and evaluation. The agreement also includes close collaboration with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology and regional institutions to undertake joint research programs and achieve the transfer of knowledge between the Gulf and Europe.   “Combining applied research and sustainability is one of the strengths of Fraunhofer, and we welcome the opportunity to be involved in this project,” says Prof. Hans-Jörg Bullinger, president of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.  “Masdar City will be a magnet for the world’s top minds in renewable energy and a hub of innovation. As a living laboratory, it will connect research and application every day across the full spectrum of clean technologies,” he added.  Construction on Masdar City commenced with a formal groundbreaking ceremony earlier this year. The City, expected to be complete by 2016, will be constructed over six phases. The Fraunhofer Institutes for Industrial Engineering (IAO), Building Physics (IBP) and Solar Energy Systems (ISE) will be involved in the partnership and other institutes of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft may follow.

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