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US President Advisor praises Abu Dhabi's unique vision for developing a knowledge based economy

posted on 19/05/2010: 645 views


Prof. Ernie Moniz, Director of the Energy Initiative, and Director of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), has praised Abu Dhabi's unique vision for developing a knowledge based economy alongside it's wealth of natural resources.

Speaking at a public lecture hosted by Masdar Institute of Science and Technology - entitled ‘Clean Energy Technology and Policy: A Post-Copenhagen View', Prof. Moniz, an advisor to US President Obama advised the large gathering that innovative technology will drive the shift towards a low-carbon world, with research universities such as Masdar Institute holding the key.

Prof. Moniz explained that Abu Dhabi was focusing in on the exact priorities that would make a difference to mitigating climate change: "As a result of COP15 the world is closer to mitigating climate. But we must accelerate the transformation of the energy marketplace significantly if we are to meet prudent climate change risk mitigation goals, energy demand and enhance energy security." "An accelerated response must be technology led. As in Abu Dhabi, governments need to invest in R'&'D that can lead to breakthroughs in cost reduction for low-carbon energy, as reducing costs and improving efficiency are two barriers which must be overcome as a priority. Research universities and institutions such as MIT and Masdar Institute are ecosystems of innovation, critical if we are to prevail over the world's current energy challenges", said Prof. Moniz.

Citing Abu Dhabi and Masdar Institute, Prof. Moniz commended the visionary approach towards a strong knowledge and resourced based economy through a wide portfolio of energy pathways being researched and developed in the Emirate.

"The endorsing comments by Prof. Moniz, one of the world's foremost energy experts, coincide with our leadership's current efforts to build a culture of R'&'D, and a technological and regulatory foundation for low carbon economy. As Prof. Moniz reflected, significant progress has already been made with the UAE well positioned to be at the forefront, helping to drive the necessary advancements in technology and innovation", added Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, Masdar CEO.

Prof Moniz continued; "Innovation and entrepreneurship are the engines of a knowledge-based economy. Abu Dhabi is rapidly building strength in each, in conjunction with its investment strategy in technology-based businesses and its supportive policy environment. The synergy of technology, business model, and policy innovation is crucial for building tomorrow's economy, and Abu Dhabi clearly has an integrated approach." "The two most important technology pathways to the energy future in a carbon-constrained world are efficiency, demand reduction, and very low-carbon electricity. These are pillars of the Abu Dhabi energy and economic strategy with world-class projects in Masdar City, carbon capture with enhanced oil recovery, and renewable solar energy already being developed," added Prof. Moniz.

Commented on the success of the event, Provost of Masdar Institute, Dr. John Perkins said: "It was extremely pleasing to see such a large turnout for this public event. Clearly the issues of climate change and energy security are of real importance to the local community, many of whom not only attended by actively took part in the discussion. It is the mandate and responsibility of Masdar Institute to raise the critical thinking and analytical skills of students in this country as well as helping to educate the wider community. This public lecture by Prof. Moniz is a vital part of an ongoing outreach program." – Emirates News Agency, WAM

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