By : Saber Mohamed
Governmental innovation centres in the UAE play a key role in creating an innovative environment in government work to consolidate its efficiency and accelerate the pace of achievements. These centres support the vision of the wise leadership to enhance national capabilities, ensure creativity and innovation as a daily practice and a sustainable approach, to shape the future and for further achievements and success by Emiratis.
Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)’s Innovation Centre supports Dubai’s experience in anticipating and shaping the future of energy and water within an integrated system run by Emiratis in addition to attracting the best regional and international professionals. Building the Centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, the largest single-site solar park in the world using the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model, is part of DEWA’s efforts to support innovation and creativity in clean and renewable energy and raise awareness on sustainability in addition to strengthening national capabilities and enhancing business competitiveness.
The Centre is the first and largest government centre to receive the “Done by Youth” seal from the Federal Youth Authority.
This is in recognition of its role in endorsing young Emiratis and using their skills and talents in national projects.
The Innovation Centre received a platinum rating from LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) with 101 points out of a possible 110 in the first quarter of 2020. This is the highest score in the world for a new government building.
HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA noted that DEWA strives, through the Innovation Centre, to highlight the latest solar and clean energy technologies and present its own achievements in renewable energy and sustainability.
“Establishing an interactive Innovation Centre that is equipped with the latest modern technologies in renewable and clean energy contributes to educating individuals on solar energy through interactive shows and experiences, and supports the development of the sector regionally.
The solar research at the Centre supports the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050 launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to provide 75% of Dubai's total power capacity from clean energy sources by 2050.
The Centre strengthens and develops next generation capabilities in clean energy, and enhancing national talent. It will also be an educational platform to host events, conferences and workshops. It will build a strong collaboration with schools, universities, start-ups, local and international organisations, knowledge exchange and organising exhibitions,” said Al Tayer.
The Innovation Centre houses a solar and renewable energy museum and exhibitions for individuals, tourists, universities, schools, and companies. This supports DEWA’s efforts to spread knowledge and awareness on renewable and clean energy.
The Centre will also include a permanent convention area to host events, work meetings and training on topics related to solar and renewable energy, and other green and sustainable initiatives.
Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development and Excellence at DEWA, said that the exhibitions at the Innovation Centre will provide a unique experience to explore the latest technologies in clean energy.
The first section of the exhibition sheds light on DEWA’s journey; prominent and historical innovations and inventions in electricity; and the latest developments of renewable and sustainable energy. Other sections include more than 30 interactive shows on the latest technologies in renewable energy.
It also includes DEWA’s museum; water desalination plants; a visual display on light properties and solar radiation; a display on the development of solar energy technologies; solar photovoltaic cells, Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), and solar towers; DEWA’s renewable energy journey; solar cells applications in spacecrafts and satellites; electric vehicles; wind turbine; and the sustainable building development at DEWA.
The Centre conducts advanced scientific experiments to provide practical experience for stakeholders.
These include the autonomous bus and 3D printers. It also enables workshops on the basics of programming, electricity and electronics. The Think Tank provides a space for creative thinking, and work environment that encourages teamwork. The Path of Innovation displays the most important solar and wind energy applications.
“DEWA believes that innovation is the main pillar of building a competitive economy based on knowledge, innovation and future technology applications. We hope the Innovation Centre will become a pioneering, world-class destination in the energy sector, by launching initiatives related to renewable energy technologies that make a regional breakthrough.
Emiratis working at the centre are the base for building the next generation of youth and developing their capabilities to become experts in clean and renewable energy.
The Centre also fosters DEWA’s efforts in providing a positive work environment that supports Emirati women, as they are key partners in the energy sector,” said Dr. Aaesha Alnuaimi, Managing Director of the Solar Innovation Centre.
“At the Innovation Centre, we work on creating innovative concepts of technology and clean energy. We also develop projects that enhance the future of sustainable energy in Dubai and the world. The Centre will play a pivotal role in conducting research related to new technologies, attracting emerging innovations as well as creating partnerships to improve capabilities and use them in future projects while getting exposed to the best global practices.
The youth are key to building the nation’s future. The Centre will focus on building the next generation of renewable and clean energy experts by launching programmes and initiatives dedicated to the youth,” said Aysha Alremeithi, Senior Engineer – Innovation Ecosystem.