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Friday, 24.03.2023
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Masdar City, MBZUAI, and The Catalyst aim to support clean energy and AI startups and create special startup packages for MBZUAI graduates

The three entities will also explore a new AI and clean energy innovation center and a new accelerator program focused on AI start-ups

A new partnership between Masdar City, Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), and The Catalyst, the region’s first clean technology startup accelerator, aims to drive the growth of artificial intelligence (AI), clean tech, and smart city technology, including autonomous transportation, throughout the region.

Mohamed Al Breiki, the executive director of sustainable real estate development of Masdar City; Sultan Al Hajji, the vice president of public affairs and alumni relations at MBZUAI; and Stephen Severance, director of growth of Masdar City for the Catalyst, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) at Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week 2023.

The partnership will support exploration of several new initiatives, including an artificial intelligence and clean energy center, learning and business opportunities for students and graduates of MBZUAI, enhanced support for AI and clean energy startups, and using advanced data analytics and AI to improve the performance of buildings throughout Masdar City..

Mohamed Al Breiki, the executive director for Masdar City said, “This agreement will help strengthen Masdar City’s position as a hub for clean tech, AI, and autonomous transport startups. It will also build on the already strong connections between these industries and help harness the power of youth and startup enterprises to make meaningful change.”

“One of the most critical predictors for successful entrepreneurship is access to industry talent, and the partnership between Catalyst, Masdar City, and MBZUAI creates a platform to attract and retain some of the leading authorities in AI to Abu Dhabi. From AI incubation to research capabilities in clean energy and a focus on mentorship for emerging businesses and AI professionals, this collaboration can significantly advance the UAE’s status as a global destination for AI.” said MBZUAI Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, Sultan Al Hajji.

“The Catalyst is looking to empower startups who want to change the world through sustainable, clean tech and AI,” said Stephen Severance, the director of growth for Masdar City. “This agreement will give us access to even more top-tier talent, and provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop groundbreaking tech. We’re looking forward to working together.”

As part of the agreement, MBZUAI graduates may be eligible for special packages to fast-track their startup enterprises within Masdar City, while current MBZUAI students may be able to participate in paid internships with various companies in the Masdar City Free Zone.

The three entities will also explore the development of a new accelerator program focused on AI to encourage more MBZUAI graduates to start successful businesses.


About Masdar City

Masdar City in Abu Dhabi is one of the world’s most sustainable developments. It is a working model for cities around the world in environmental, economic, and social sustainability, and continues to push the boundaries of innovation.

Masdar City hosts Abu Dhabi’s only planned and approved R&D cluster; Masdar City Free Zone, which is a growing hub for sustainability-focused innovative businesses; and a residential neighborhood with restaurants, shops, sporting facilities and public green spaces. Masdar City is home to companies dedicated to developing innovations across the sectors of renewables, space, energy storage, artificial intelligence, agriculture, health, and mobility. These include the headquarters of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the UAE Space Agency, the regional headquarters of Siemens Energy, G42 Healthcare, the Advanced Technology Research Council, several Fortune 500 companies, hundreds of entrepreneurs, a startup accelerator program called The Catalyst, and the world's first university dedicated to artificial intelligence: the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.

Masdar City has also pioneered two generations of autonomous vehicles and continues to extend the frontiers of alternative and sustainable transport.


Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) is a graduate research university dedicated to advancing AI as a global force for humanity. UAE’s visionary leaders established MBZUAI to educate and develop top talent, foster an innovation ecosystem, and act as a strategic think tank for the public and private sectors.

The university has a vital role to play in many of the UAE Government’s strategic objectives, with AI identified as a critical component for future growth and prosperity. MBZUAI’s own strategic vision and mission works in parallel to position Abu Dhabi as a hub for the international AI community.

The university attracts world-class thinkers and doers in computer vision, machine learning, natural language processing, and beyond.

Its ground-breaking academic and research initiatives are working on developing future solutions that will impact the world and change the way we imagine things.

About The Catalyst

The Catalyst is the region’s first clean technology startup accelerator based in Masdar City. Supported by Masdar and energy major BP, The Catalyst helps startups accelerate their business through funding, training and mentorship. Based in Masdar City Free Zone, The Catalyst targets eco-friendly business ideas that are 1-3 years away from commercialization, and accelerates them through a holistic program, which provides entrepreneurs a range of services and support needed to run a business.


Quelle/Source: Zawya, 18.01.2023

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