Abu Dhabi-UAE: 4 June, 2013 – Zayed Future Energy Prize, the world’s preeminent award for innovation in renewable energy and sustainability, addressed a group of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the renewable energy sector in Sweden as part of its outreach initiatives to draw increased submissions for the 2014 edition.
Co-hosted by the Swedish Energy Agency, the seminar took place on the side-lines of the Global Sustainable Cities Network (GSCN) meetings in Stockholm that ran from 4 - 5 June.
Dr Nawal Al-Hosany, Director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, led the discussion with representatives of 10 Swedish cleantech companies on the role and importance of SMEs in the renewable energy sector. Highlighting the Prize’s capacity to catalyze and fund innovation and growth in clean energy and sustainability practices, Dr Al-Hosany offered a virtual walk-through of the submission process for the Prize.
“SMEs play a critical role in the cleantech sector. In most countries, SMEs represent a majority of the industry and are significant drivers of energy innovation and contributors to overall economic growth through employment, said Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, Director General of the Zayed Future Energy Prize. However, the funds involved in research and development of new technology could constrain SMEs. Here, the Prize plays a key role in recognizing and funding companies that are engaged in developing the solutions for energy access and addressing climate change.
“Our previous winners have witnessed the transformational effect of the Prize. We would like to encourage SMEs in Europe and across the world to join forces with us and participate in the Prize,” continued Dr Al Jaber.
“The Prize underscores the commitment by the leadership of the UAE to finding the solutions needed to solve the energy challenge. Inspired by the legacy of our founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Prize has the power to bring together and catalyze participants from all over the world – corporations, individuals and schools – for a common cause,” added Dr Al Jaber.
Previous winners of the Prize from Europe include Vestas, Denmark (Large Corporation, 2011); Schneider Electric, France (Large Corporation 2012); Carbon Disclosure Project, United Kingdom (SME 2012); Siemens, Germany (Large Corporation 2013); and the Okehampton School, United Kingdom (Global High Schools 2013).
In her capacity as Director of Sustainability at Masdar, Dr Al-Hosany also participated in a roundtable at the Global Sustainable Cities Network (GSCN) meeting. A component of the United Nation’s Clean Energy Ministerial, the GSCN seeks to provide an open knowledge-sharing platform for groundbreaking sustainable city initiatives throughout the world. Masdar City, the UAE’s emerging clean-tech cluster and test-bed for renewable energy and sustainable technologies is the Secretariat to the GSCN. Current members of the Network include the UAE, China, Finland, Sweden and Denmark.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is a US$ 4 million annual fund awarded to companies, schools and individuals that have made significant contributions to the future of energy, sustainability and climate change. In five years, the Prize has recognized 21 innovators and impacted communities worldwide.
Submissions for the sixth edition of the Prize will close on 5 August, 2013. Winners will be announced at the Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony scheduled for 20 January, 2014 as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.