Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) concluded an impactful roadshow that toured select local universities across the UAE in a bid to promote the most advanced scientific ideas in the field of rain enhancement and drive awareness of the program.
A delegation from the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science commenced the university roadshow with a visit to the University of Sharjah, followed by a tour of the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, prior to concluding the drive with a stop-over at the New York University Abu Dhabi.
As part of the roadshow, delegates of the program interacted with faculty members to introduce the program and invite the universities’ participation in the second cycle that started on January 19, 2016, following the announcement of the awardees of the program’s first cycle.
The roadshow is in line with the program’s efforts to attract local participation in its second cycle prior to closing the pre-proposal submission phase on March 17, 2016. The close of submissions will be followed by a reviewing process to shortlist the most innovative ideas and invite their contributors to present full-proposals, which will then be reviewed to select up to five awardees to receive the US$5 million annual grant – awarded over a three-year period.
Dr Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology, said: “We encourage and welcome contributions from the UAE scientific community that submitted a noteworthy number of proposals in the inaugural cycle of the program. This year looks even more promising. The interest shown by the UAE researchers and scientists clearly indicates that our nation is steadily on course to driving innovation and shaping a solid knowledge-based economy to serve generations to come.”
Commenting on the roadshow initiative, Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “Our program seeks to engage with researchers, scientists, and students in the UAE and encourage them to contribute with proposals and innovative ideas
that can help develop the rain enhancement science. This field is today considered one of the most important scientific breakthroughs towards achieving water security in the UAE and other arid and semi-arid regions across the world.”
She added: “We thank faculty members and students from University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates University, and New York University Abu Dhabi for their attendance and valuable participation in the roadshow seminars. Achieving our program’s goals depends primarily on the contributions and support of researchers and scientists. For the 2016 cycle, we look forward to receiving many high-quality submissions from research teams based in the UAE that will potentially advance innovation in this vital field.”
As part of the roadshow, Sufian Farrah, Meteorologist, Senior Forecaster and Cloud Seeding Expert at the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology, conducted a presentation highlighting cloud-seeding operations in the UAE and the diverse technologies used in rain enhancement, while examining the potential of this science for the future.
For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, provided faculty members and students with an overview of the program, its goals, different phases and outcomes, in addition to spotlighting the winning researchers and projects from the inaugural cycle. In addition, panel discussions were held to answer any scientific or technical questions about the program.
Dr Ahmed Murad, Acting Dean of the College of Sciences at United Arab Emirates University, said: “Our researchers, students, and faculty have gained important insights into the field of rain enhancement through the thought session hosted by the UAEREP. Such community outreach events can serve as a key differentiator in spreading awareness for what is, after all an issue that concerns us all. We are confident the initiative will go a long way in engaging students and researchers from the UAE’s institutions to identify and harness innovative, high-potential ideas to augment rainfall for the benefit of the world’s most arid regions.”
Dr Abdullah Shanableh, Director of Research Institute of Sciences and Engineering at the University of Sharjah, said: “The valuable seminar presented by the team from the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science will no doubt encourage researchers from University of Sharjah to submit their scientific proposals. Contributing to the well-being of society in the UAE and the wider region, this program is an important effort in addressing the crucial issue of water security that has become a global concern today.”
Dr David McGlennon, Vice Provost of Research Administration and University Partnerships at New York University Abu Dhabi, said: “The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is an excellent example of the support for research and innovation that the UAE is currently fostering. It addresses an issue of global importance and will help build capacity in advanced scientific endeavors.”
In its first cycle, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science received 16 pre-proposals from UAE research teams, ranking the UAE second among the countries with the maximum number of submissions, right after the United States. In addition, a research team from
the UAE was among the three winners, with teams from Japan and Germany also qualifying for top honors.
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science was launched in early 2015 by the UAE Ministry of Presidential Affairs and is managed by the National Center of Meteorology & Seismology (NCMS). It aims through continuing research efforts to advance the science, technology and implementation of rain enhancement and encourage more investments in this field. This in turn will help develop strong international synergies that can further contribute to the advancement of the sciences and operations of rain enhancement and help identify viable and innovative solutions.