Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is participating in the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting from December 14-18, at San Francisco, United States.

The AGU Fall Meeting convenes leading international experts in the earth, climate, and space sciences. This year’s event is expected to draw more than 24,000 attendees to discuss the latest research across a broad spectrum of scientific fields.

His Excellency Dr. Abdullah Al Mandoos, Executive Director of the National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS), said: “As part of our efforts to establish a global network of rain enhancement scientists and technologists, we will reach out to scientists and researchers at AGU to explore opportunities of collaboration and advancement. The UAE team is supporting the program’s aim of encouraging substantive international cooperation in the field of rain enhancement and working to develop enduring links with interested stakeholders and the scientific community.”

Through its participation, the delegation from the UAE Research Program on Rain Enhancement Science aims to reach out to potential stakeholders and expand the pool of candidates for the second cycle, evaluate potential reviewers for different stages of the program, generate sustained interest in the program, and identify opportunities of collaboration with specialized entities in the United States. Notably, the program seeks to position the UAE as a global hub for rain enhancement research.

The meeting comes at a time when the UAE Research Program is nearing the culmination of a momentous and highly successful first cycle. Following an intensive evaluation process of the 78 pre-proposals received in April 2015, a full proposal panel meeting took place in November to select the final winning proposals that will be announced at a special awards ceremony in January 2016. In accordance with international best practices, all successful proposals were confidentially examined and approved by several reviewers on the basis of highly stringent criteria.

Alya Al Mazroui, Program Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “The outstanding success of the first cycle of our program and the quality of this year’s submissions confirms that the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science could make a real difference in tackling water security issues around the world. We were delighted to receive 20 research proposals from US in its first year, and we are looking forward towards expanding our contacts with US researchers in order to sustain the momentum of our highly successful program as we move into its second year.”

An initiative of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs, the program is designed to encourage the development of existing science and technology used to enhance rainfall in arid and semi-arid regions. The program will select up to five projects as winners of a total grant of US$5 million to be awarded over a three-year period.

Launched by the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs in January 2015, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is an ambitious project designed to help arid and semi-arid countries to contribute in providing solutions to critical water security issues by encouraging global collaboration in rain enhancement scientific research and technology development to augment rainfall.

As a key component of the water pillar of the country’s National Innovation Strategy, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is building on a successful first cycle to help develop the local capacity needed for driving innovation to achieve global water resilience and shape a comprehensive knowledge economy in the UAE.