To enhance and explore bilateral research opportunities, Environment Agency – Abu Dhabi (EAD) has signed eight memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with major universities in the UAE.
Partnering universities include Abu Dhabi University, Al Ain University, American University of Sharjah, Khalifa University, New York University Abu Dhabi, Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi, UAE University, and Zayed University, with EAD having future plans of partnering with other research organisations going forward.
The agreements serve as frameworks for collaboration in the field of scientific research for the purpose of closing knowledge gaps. All entities recognise the mutual benefits of collaboration and have set out basic terms and conditions to allow the fast-track development of research projects.
The agreements will allow partner universities to bring their faculty member’s expertise, specialist research resources and innovations to help bridge scientific knowledge gaps and support EAD’s operations. This will reinforce EAD’s position as an innovative and science-driven organisation and will be a catalyst for achieving Abu Dhabi’s environment and sustainability targets.
Ahmed Baharoon, Executive Director of Environment Information, Science Outreach Management Sector at EAD, said: “The visionary leadership of Abu Dhabi has always placed great importance on, and investment in, education and scientific research. In the last few decades, the emirate’s research capacity and capabilities have developed tremendously, therefore institutional-level agreements between these eight universities and EAD will provide researchers with a rich seam of collaboration opportunities. Universities are home to faculty members who are deep subject matter experts and operate highly specialist research labs and equipment.
“Since its establishment, EAD has been a science-driven Agency. It is essential that the creation of laws, policies, projects and strategic advice by EAD, as well as education programmes and reports, are based on robust, defensible science. The Agency therefore places strategic importance on strengthening environmental research and development that signing these eight memoranda of understanding will provide.
“We also maintain an environmental research needs register that will provide these universities with a rich list of potential research projects. We also provide access to decades of environmental monitoring data, reports, and research publications, as well as in-depth expertise.”
The breadth of expertise in the external research community will allow EAD, in collaboration with its partners, to address environmental challenges in a holistic manner and consider the complex interactions between soils, water, air, wildlife, social and economic systems.
The MoUs will allow the considerable research capabilities of the individual universities to support the environmental research needs of the emirate while providing the universities a rich source of substantive research questions.
There are exciting research opportunities across all of EAD’s main strategic priorities, including: climate change, habitat conservation, ground and marine water, fisheries, and air quality. Policy formulation and the optimisation of social, economic, and environmental imperatives also provide rich research areas. The outcomes of collaborative research will be published in scientific literature, reports and journals, and more.