UAE: Dh25,000-grants given to 17 student teams for climate-related solutions

The projects include waste management systems, turtle-tracking, producing sustainable concrete

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Published: Sun 10 Dec 2023, 3:07 PM

A turtle-tracking project that uses drones and artificial intelligence, a novel electromagnetic desalination concept, and a plan to produce sustainable concrete from brine water-derived minerals are among 17 climate-related solutions awarded grants and support as part of the Expo Live University Innovation Programme (UIP).

Student teams from UAE-based universities presented their ideas to an expert evaluation committee at a live-pitching event, held on Sunday at Expo City Dubai’s Terra Auditorium, on the sidelines of the COP28 climate summit. The 17 selected projects will each receive a grant of Dh25,000 to help turn their idea into reality.

The third cycle of the UIP engaged more than 1,000 students, with 36 UAE-based institutions presenting 350-plus proposals for innovative climate-related solutions. The final event welcomed 20 teams of UAE nationals and international students from universities from across Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah and Ras Al Khaimah.

Yousuf Caires, Executive Director, Expo Live Innovation Programme, said: “The youth of the UAE know that their future is inextricably linked to a healthy, thriving planet and they are passionate about helping to steer a more sustainable course. The overwhelming response to the Expo Live University Innovation Programme and the abundance of quality, innovative ideas demonstrates that passion and renews our hope for a brighter, cleaner future.

“Each of the 17 solutions selected today has incredible potential to benefit people and the planet, and we are proud to support them, here on the sidelines of this crucial climate conference, as they take these concepts to the next stage.”

The students included two teams of cadets from Abu Dhabi Police College – one using AI to intelligently analyse climate data and another transforming waste into valuable resources. The winners also included a team of Ethiopian students who were selected from more than one million applicants to receive a UAE/Ethiopia government scholarship.

The UIP is part of Expo Live, which was initiated under Expo 2020 Dubai and continues as part of Expo City Dubai. Expo Live helps innovators from around the world develop solutions to pressing challenges, backing projects that improve people’s lives and/or preserve the planet, providing an invaluable platform for accelerating entrepreneurial spirit and demonstrating the power of collaboration and innovation to further human progress.

The first two UIP cycles attracted more than 1,000 applications from over 40 universities, from which 46 student teams from 19 universities were awarded grants.

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