Masdar City, the sustainable urban development in Abu Dhabi, is set to play a key role in the global green recovery from COVID-19 as it continues to add sustainability-focused innovation and technology companies. The number of companies in the city’s free zone increased 26 percent in 2020, indicating the important role of the city and its offerings to innovation-led companies, including G42 Healthcare, whose laboratories and testing centers were central to the UAE’s pandemic response.
The figures emphasize the essential need for innovation in progressing the green transition through the development and commercialization of new technologies. Masdar City is Abu Dhabi’s only planned and approved research and development (R&D) cluster and is now home to more than 900 companies, ranging from multinationals and SMEs, to homegrown startups. These companies are developing ground-breaking technological solutions to some of the world’s most pressing environmental challenges, across the key sectors of energy, water, artificial intelligence, health, space, agriculture and mobility.
“The UAE leadership has made a longstanding commitment to progressive climate action and recognizes the integral part that innovation plays in advancing the global green recovery,” said Abdulla Balalaa, executive director, Masdar City. “The COVID-19 pandemic has further underlined the links between public health and climate change. Now more than ever, we see the critical importance of the green recovery. It is the only way forward to drive sustainable development, and facilitating innovation in key sectors is a fundamental aspect of this journey, one that we are helping to lead at Masdar City.
“The UAE also has in place a National Strategy for Advanced Innovation which is focused on devising innovative solutions in the health, transportation, water, environment and space technology sectors. This vision is at the heart of Masdar and the reason that Masdar City was developed as a ‘greenprint’ of sustainable urban living and a center for R&D, innovation and technology. The work being done by companies in Masdar City to develop transformative technologies, is not only preparing for the future, but is creating it, while simultaneously supporting the UAE’s goals of driving sustainable and positive change,” Balalaa added.
Despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, Masdar City has continued to welcome new partners, including high-tech sector drivers, the Advanced Technology Research Council, which shapes the R&D strategy in Abu Dhabi, alongside its pillar entities, the Technology Innovation Institute and ASPIRE, and will continue to welcome regional and global partners in the coming months.
Masdar recently marked its 15-year anniversary with its “For A Sustainable Future” brand campaign, which is focusing on real-world examples of how Masdar City is driving innovation in the region.