As the UAE prepares to host the all-important 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in November in Dubai, the Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTIP) is among the active players proactively supporting the global event’s goals of combating climate change.
COP28’s lofty objectives of accelerating global efforts of reducing emissions by 43 percent by 2030 are at the core of STRIP’s mission of nurturing and funding startups that are committed to creating environment-friendly innovations.
The UAE became the first country in the region to commit to an economy-wide reduction in emissions by 2030 by launching the National Net Zero by 2050 Pathway in November 2022, which sets the timeframe and identifies the mechanisms to implement the UAE Net Zero by 2050 strategic initiative.
As the region’s vibrant hub for green startups, SRTIP is aligning its activities and the various projects of its startup tenants to be in harmony with the goals of COP28.
SRTIP is currently engaged in several real-world projects aimed at reducing carbon footprint and developing sustainable infrastructure. Noteworthy projects include hydrogen-related initiatives and the collaboration with the American University of Sharjah in green hydrogen energy.
Additionally, SRTIP is actively involved in sustainable agriculture and the development of sustainable greenhouses. It is also supporting the development of solar-powered vehicles and various other clean energy projects in collaboration with partners and leading global companies.
SRTIP is promoting a slew of green projects that are at the frontline of innovation.
The Usky project of hanging skypods at SRTIP is in advanced stages of trial, designed for green transportation. The park has projects in hydroponic farming, Additive Manufacturing, VR and AI. It has established collaboration with Lightyear, the world’s first production-ready solar car as well as the Hungarian designed Megalux solar racing car.
SRTIP is also hosting a startup that is set to unveil a new line of electric bikes, which aligns with the park’s commitment to sustainable transportation solutions.
The park has set up the Sharjah Open Innovation Laboratory (SOILAB), an incubator for emerging and innovative companies to manufacture prototypes, and the Centre for Additive Manufacturing which is a hub for 3D printing.
SRTIP’s showpiece global competition for startups – the Sharjah Advanced Industry Accelerator (SAIA) – this year attracted over 3,500 applications from over 40 countries, the bulk of them engaged in sustainable projects, in areas such as Digitalisation Solutions and Energy Technologies, Transport & Logistics, Environmental Analysis, Water Technologies and Production & Design.
Currently, SRTIP is abuzz with numerous environment friendly projects. There is a startup that has developed a patent-granted hydrogen technology for combustion engine rejuvenation and reducing emissions. Another company is producing autonomous forklifts that were developed by two graduates of Lodz University of Technology, Poland. There is a startup that is developing personalised footwear for masses while delivering full benefits of sustainable digital manufacturing using 3D technology.
An Egyptian company is manufacturing robots that clean solar plants in a faster and cheaper way. A UAE startup is retrofitting existing vehicles from petrol to electric. An Indian startup has developed a green propulsion system that provides a customised solution to each peculiar setback, helping make space exploration safer. A local company is specializing in additive and subtractive manufacturing technology through smart use of 3D printing.
Among the events lined up by STRIP is a meeting of angel investors, where SRTIP will showcase investment opportunities in sustainable technologies offered by its start-up tenants.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTIP, said: “SRTIP is keen to leverage COP28 to showcase our unique ecosystem to global investors. We invite investors and startups to explore our ecosystem and be part of it. We believe COP28 represents a turning point in the history of the UAE as the world will be able to see this nation’s tremendous achievements in sustainability and green economy. SRTIP is proud to support this global mega-event.”
SRTI Park’s commitment to education and outreach is evident through their organisation of technology-focused summer camps for students. These camps provide hands-on experiences that empower young minds to become future leaders in tackling climate change.
In the run-up to COP28, STRIP has lined up a host of conferences, technology festivals, specialised lectures and workshops, artificial intelligence initiatives and exhibitions.
The programme also includes a dedicated conference in collaboration with the American University of Sharjah, along with various technology-focused summer camps.
At the Innovation Technology Transfer conference, the region’s biggest specialised event in technology transfer and innovation, SRTIP tackled climate resilience and the pressing need for sustainable solutions to combat a looming global climate disaster.
All of these activities will contribute to shaping STRIP’s strategy of linking its ecosystem to COP28 goals, and expose potential investors to unprecedented investment opportunities.