Tuesday 3, May 2016

Abu Dhabi – MENA Herald: The international technical review committee of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science meets on May 4 and 5 in Abu Dhabi to assess the 91 pre-proposals received in its first phase. Comprising experts drawn from across the world, the committee will announce its final shortlist of candidates on May 17.
The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science commenced its second cycle in January 2016. In less than two months, the program witnessed a widened geographical participation in the new cycle where it received submissions from a total of 45 countries – including academicians from 15 additional countries such as Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, Egypt, Georgia, Hungary, Mexico, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Sweden, and Turkey.
The second cycle follows the success of the program’s inaugural edition, launched in early 2015 by His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister of the UAE and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The path-breaking program is overseen by the UAE National Center of Meteorology and Seismology (NCMS).
Dr Abdullah Al Mandoos, Director of NCMS, said: “The National Center of Meteorology & Seismology is hosting the international review committee, to officially commence the second phase of the current cycle of the program. This meeting is a milestone in our continuous efforts at the Center to address the water pillar of the National Innovation Strategy. We are pleased to yet again witness a high level of interest from local researchers – with the UAE ranking second for the overall number of pre-proposals submitted this year, right after the United States.”
Dr Richard Behnke, former Head of Geospace Research at the US National Science Foundation, Fellow of the American Meteorological Society and Chair of the international review committee for UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement technical panel in its second cycle, said: “The program offers a unique opportunity for international researchers and technologists to re-energise research in rain enhancement. It also presents a global platform to advance the cause of this truly promising field of research. With a total of 91 pre-proposals, representing 398 scientists and researchers affiliated to 180 institutes from 45 countries, we now have the challenging but rewarding task of shortlisting the most innovative and ambitious of these research projects. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to submit their full research proposals in the coming months.”
The application schedule of the program includes several phases. Following the international review committee’s announcement of its shortlist, successful candidates will be invited to develop full research proposals. The close of deadline to submit full proposals will be midnight of August 17, 2016.
Alya Al Mazroui, Program Manager of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “The international technical review committee’s goal is to ensure that the shortlisted pre-proposals strengthen the UAE’s status as a hub for international collaboration in science and technology, a place of choice to inspire new water security solutions and spearhead breakthroughs for the benefit of arid and semi-arid regions.”
In its first cycle, the program drew the participation of 325 scientists from 34 countries, affiliated to 151 organizations representing a diversified pool of governmental and non-governmental, private and public, domestic and foreign entities as well as individuals. Research groups from Japan, the UAE and Germany led by professors Masataka Murakami, Linda Zou, and Volker Wulfmeyer were named awardees of the first cycle during the Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week in January 2016.