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Masdar's iInnovation drives eco entrepreneurship

Research assistance and lecture series amongst planned initiatives.

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Bruce W. Ferguson, head of iInnovation.
Bruce W. Ferguson, head of iInnovation.

Masdar Institute’s Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (iInnovation) has been tasked with boosting innovation and entrepreneurship in the UAE.

In January 2014, iInnovation announced a US $7 million, multi-year Technology Innovation Collaboration Agreement with BP to develop novel ways to speed development and adoption of new sustainable technologies. A two-year, fully-funded, merit-based BP Innovation Scholarship Program has been launched to help students turn ideas into businesses.

Going forward, iInnovation is organising an entrepreneurship lecture series to be hosted at Masdar Institute and creating a funding program for late-stage faculty research that shows potential for commercialisation.

It will be hosting the ‘UAE Forum on Innovation and Entrepreneurship 2014’ on April 28 in Abu Dhabi, co-sponsored with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and BP.

Dr. Fred Moavenzadeh, President, Masdar Institute, said: “The launch of iInnovation forms part of our mission towards creating and developing human capital, especially in clean energy innovation and entrepreneurship.

“With the support of the UAE leadership, Masdar Institute continues to implement initiatives and host international forums to raise awareness of the importance of technology start-ups. We hope iInnovation will develop capabilities, encourage youth to launch start-up companies and facilitate government support for young entrepreneurs.”

Headed by Dr. Bruce W. Ferguson, Professor in Engineering Systems and Management, iInnovation will operate in three thematic areas – establishing the commercial viability of research, further advancing technology entrepreneurship among the youth in the UAE and strengthening the innovation policy framework in the UAE.

The UAE is currently ranked 25th in the world on the 'Innovation and Sophistication' scale by the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index (GCI).

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