- Dr Abdulla Al Mandous: “Through playing our part in catalyzing new global scientific and technological networks, the UAE is enabling innovation to secure new sources of water for the benefit of all.”
- Awarded research projects to be announced in January 2018 at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week will receive a total of US$ 5 million of grant support.
Abu Dhabi-UAE: 1 October 2017: The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is holding a two-day Final Technical Evaluation Meeting from October 1 to 2, 2017 to name the awardees of the Program's Third Cycle competition. Selected from an intensely competitive global field, these awardees will be honored at an exclusive ceremony during Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week on January 2018.
Launched by the Ministry of Presidential Affairs of the UAE, and managed by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is an internationally-recognized initiative that offers a grant of US$5 million to be shared by up to five winning research proposals. At the Final Technical Evaluation Meeting, a 11-member committee of international experts, supported by 16 adhoc reviewers will select this year's final awardees in accordance with international best practice including reports on each proposal by the reviewers.
His Excellency Dr Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of the NCM, said: “Given the quality of the shortlist we have received this year, the final evaluation committee of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is facing the task of selecting the final Third Cycle awardees. All the ambitious and innovative projects we received this year demonstrate the creativity needed to advance rain enhancement as a water sustainability solution in regions suffering from scarcity. Through playing our part in catalyzing new global scientific and technological networks, the UAE is enabling innovation to secure new sources of water for the benefit of all.”
Since the Program started, an ambitious international outreach campaign has reached out to more than 500 researchers from over 200 global institutions. Key global institutions engaged by the NCM through international roadshows include the United Nations, the US Congress, the European Commission and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO). In addition, UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science has also built enduring links with numerous governmental and private research institutions in countries ranging from the United States to the UK and Germany in Europe to Thailand, China and Japan.
Reflecting the Program's exponential growth and outstanding success to date, this year's Third Cycle call for research proposals led to 201 pre-proposal submissions, representing 710 scientists and researchers affiliated to 316 institutions spread across 68 countries, on five continents.
Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “The global attention and interest received by the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science over the last three years is a testament to its success in reviving interest in an underfunded field of science and technology. We are grateful for the work of our Final Evaluation Meeting committee and our expert panel of reviewers for their hard work in assessing such an impressive shortlist of proposals to select the final winners to be honored at our awards ceremony next January.”
The Program's three First Cycle awardees are carrying out ground-breaking work on the use of nanotechnology to accelerate water condensation, the potential of innovative algorithms to enhance knowledge of cloud characteristics and precipitation, and land cover modification to enhance precipitation. Further projects led by the Program's Second Cycle awardees on leveraging ice production processes in cumulus clouds, quantifying atmospheric aerosols in precipitation enhancement, and analyzing the electrical properties of clouds, also commenced this year.
The Program's globally acclaimed success has confirmed the status of Abu Dhabi and the UAE as a pioneer in this scientific field. By serving as a hub for an internationally recognized research network, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science is moving from strength to strength by facilitating the active knowledge transfers needed to ensure sustainable development and economic growth in those regions of the world vulnerable to aridity and water shortages.