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 centre, 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.
Al Breiki 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 Al Hajji.
“The Catalyst is looking to empower startups who want to change the world through sustainable, clean tech and AI,” said Severance. “This agreement will give us access to even more top-tier talent and provide more opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop ground-breaking 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 programme focused on AI to encourage more MBZUAI graduates to start successful businesses.