UAE Government develops innovative and effective solutions to energy and infrastructure challenges
The course emphasizes an entrepreneurial and design thinking mindset, problem symptoms investigation, rapid prototyping and stakeholder engagement to advance the most promising socio-technical ideas
Dubai, June 2021: The UAE government has developed innovative and effective solutions to energy and infrastructure challenges, as a result of the work of the first batch of the "Possibility Hack " Program for students from national and international universities, organized by the Ministry of Possibilities. The Program is part of the ministry’s initiatives aimed at enhancing student participation In designing a new generation of government practices, and innovating effective qualitative solutions to the challenges of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, in order to support the government’s efforts in preparing for the future.
The first batch of the Possibility Hack focused on developing innovative and effective solutions to 4 main challenges set by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, including: "energy efficient buildings, traffic congestion, flood mitigation, and sustainable aviation fuel challenge." The selection of challenges reflects the government's direction to encourage anticipatory planning for disasters, enhancing the use of disaster data and advanced data analysis tools, and researching innovative and unconventional ways to reduce traffic congestion, in addition to employing sustainable innovation to reduce the environmental footprint of the aviation sector.
The UAE government honored the students participating in the Possibility Hack Program, in the presence of His Excellency Suhail bin Muhammad Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, Her Excellency Ohoud Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future, Her Excellency Huda Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategy, and His Excellency Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs, His Excellency Sharif Al Olama, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Energy and Industry, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Dr. Ahmed Al Shuaibi, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Student Affairs and Associate Professor at Khalifa University, and Dr. Mahmoud Anabtawi, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the American University of Sharjah, Professor Sid Saleh, Associate Director of the McNeill Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Colorado School of Mines, and Eng. Students from participating national and international universities
Ohoud Al Roumi: Investing in the young talents and minds of university students to create a new generation of government practices
Her Excellency Ohood Al Roumi confirmed that the UAE adopts a sustainable model for government development, based on innovating new solutions and methodologies that enhance readiness for the future and raise the level of government flexibility in the face of changes, embodying the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. in designing the concept of government work according to an ambitious vision based on anticipating the future and developing proactive solutions for it.
Her Excellency pointed out the importance of benefiting from the solutions, innovations and ideas that national and international university students discovered during their participation in the "Possibility Hack Program”, and building on it to find and develop innovative solutions to challenges, in order to motivate students to participate with new and effective ideas for the various challenges that the government and society will face in the future.
H.E Ohoud Al-Roumi also said that the Possibility Hack Program for university students supports the process of future government work, and embodies the government's directions to invest in young minds and employ their creative ideas and strengthen partnerships with universities and scientific research centers in exploring new trends and opportunities, in order to implement the best government model that keeps pace with global changes to cross into the future and achieve UAE Centennial 2071 goals.
Suhail Al Mazrouei: Involving students in shaping the future of energy, infrastructure, housing and transportation
His Excellency Suhail Al Mazrouei, Minister of Energy and Infrastructure, confirmed that the Ministry supports the active participation of university students in shaping the future of energy, infrastructure, housing and transportation in the UAE, through an ambitious vision that promotes the development of tools and mechanisms to ensure that the UAE crosses the next fifty years, armed with qualitative achievements that support leadership the country globally, reaching the UAE Centennial 2071.
His Excellency pointed out that the Ministry continues to cooperate with its strategic partners in the federal and local government, as well as the private sector, to develop methodologies and policies, launch initiatives and projects aimed at achieving sustainability, and invest in the future by adapting to changes and transforming challenges into opportunities aimed at improving human life and ensuring a better life for future generations. Pointing out that the initiative comes within the framework of the commitment of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure to the directives of the UAE government regarding empowering youth and activating their role in the sectors related to the work of the ministry, and that we seek to involve students in shaping the future course of the energy, infrastructure, government housing and transportation sectors, taking into account the provision of Services that exceed the expectations of all customers, and that the Ministry is keen to invest in the capabilities and experiences of students in line with the future direction of the UAE government and the vision of its wise leadership, and for this we recently launched “Ajyaluna” initiative, which is one of the leading initiatives at the state level and the first of its kind aimed at to support new graduates with engineering majors and job seekers who do not have the field experience.
Huda Al Hashemi: Enhancing youth participation in designing new models for government work
Her Excellency Huda Al Hashemi, Assistant Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs, said that the UAE government is keen to enhance the participation of various segments of society in finding effective solutions by identifying challenges and developing innovative solutions for them within the work of the Ministry of Possibilities, and benefiting from the ideas, proposals and applications developed by university students. From the scientific and engineering disciplines, and designing new models for government Practices.
Al-Hashemi pointed out that the Possibility Hack for university students comes within the initiatives aimed at enhancing the participation of the young generations in designing the future, strengthening and accelerating government work, and building their capabilities to contribute effectively to creating solutions to the challenges of vital sectors.
She added that the UAE government will continue to support students' ideas and projects and adopt their practical application, thus contributing to the consolidation of innovative government models that employ science, technology and innovation in developing best government practices and services.
Aref Al Hammadi: Building students' skills in addressing challenges
In a related context, Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice President of Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: "We are pleased that Khalifa University students have the opportunity to study the multidisciplinary course offered by (Ministry of Possibilities) in cooperation with the University of Colorado Maines virtually as part of the student exchange program."
Al Hammadi added: This course is designed to help students build their skills in addressing a wide range of challenges, and enable them to propose and develop solutions that enhances the future business models of the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, which provided an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills to devise solutions to the various challenges posed by the Ministry of Possibilities in The UAE, pointing to the great confidence in the ability of Emirati students to apply their engineering knowledge, skills and innovations and discover their potential, in addition to employing their entrepreneurial skills to translate laboratory research into practical applications.”
Sid Saleh: Involving university students in efforts to make a tangible change in people's lives
Professor Sid Saleh, Associate Director of the McNeill Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Colorado School of Mines, said: “We are delighted to collaborate with the UAE and Ministry of Possibilities on the advanced academic programme. Together, we lead innovation to address societal challenges using our unique approach, which is During which outstanding students from the Colorado School of Mines, American University of Sharjah, and Khalifa University engage government leaders in an incredible effort to make a tangible change in people’s lives.”
Saleh added that the new business model enhanced the participation of students in studying and researching solutions to the proposed challenges, and benefiting from their ideas to accelerate the development of government work, referring to the experience of the United States of America in working with former Colorado school of Mines students in studying challenges within academic courses.
Kevin Mitchell: Preparing engaged and active members of the community
Professor Kevin Mitchell, Director of the American University of Sharjah, said: “We are pleased to be part of the Possibility Hack Program for university students, as we aim at the university to prepare engaged and active members of society at a high level of proficiency in their fields of specialization, and who are highly qualified in communication and critical thinking. and developing creative solutions.
He added that "Possibilities Model" and the Innov8x course provided an ideal platform for students to apply their knowledge and skills to solve global challenges. Expressing his thanks to the Ministry of Possibilities and the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure for providing the opportunity for students to work with peers from Colorado school of mines and Khalifa University, to address the challenges facing individuals and societies today, and in the future.
A University course and student collaboration
The “Possibility Hack” program for university students included a course titled “Innov8x” that focused on identifying current government impossibles and working on building and testing prototypes of solutions, within the courses of the engineering colleges at the Colorado school of Mines, Khalifa University, and the American University of Sharjah, and a team from the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, to coordinate periodically with affiliated students to follow up on the developments of their work, answer their questions and inquiries, provide them with the necessary information and help them design and invent solutions to challenges, within the Ministry of Possibilities.
The Possibility Hack model for university students also included several stages, starting with the analysis of the challenge and the formation of joint student teams from scientific and engineering disciplines from the Colorado School of Mines, the American University of Sharjah, and Khalifa University, to enhance cooperation between students and enable them to benefit from each other’s experiences, and work together to innovate Appropriate solutions to the challenges set by the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, and designing prototypes for solutions, and they were presented to the concerned authority to learn about its visions and development proposals, and work to adopt, apply and benefit from them.
Reduce energy consumption
The goal of the first challenge, "Energy efficient buildings” is to reduce energy consumption in government, industrial, commercial and residential buildings, which represents one of the most important challenges resulting from the way of life, which negatively affects the carbon footprint of the country, and the goal of the challenge is to support the achievement of the goals of the Emirates Energy Strategy 2050, which seeks to reduce the carbon emissions of the electricity production process by 70% within three decades, by finding effective solutions to raise the efficiency of electricity consumption.
The solutions reached by the participants focused on the use of solar energy panels technology in homes and residential units to reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, and the design of a smart meter that monitors energy consumption and sends notifications to the homeowner in case the natural consumption limit is exceeded, and linking smart meters to one platform that reaches All residences with electricity companies to monitor consumption and send the necessary notices to reduce consumption.
Innovative solutions to traffic congestion
The second challenge, "Traffic Congestion", included finding innovative solutions to traffic congestion in a number of areas where there is a heavy traffic of cars and vehicles, in order to achieve the objectives of the National Strategy for Quality of Life 2031, by addressing environmental, economic and social challenges.
The solutions focused on designing an effective unified communication channel that enhances government integration and coordination between various entities in all emirates of the country, and contributes to accelerating the pace of design and implementation of joint projects to reduce traffic congestion to improve people's lives.
Social media to analyze natural disasters
The third challenge, "Flood Mitigation", aimed to enhance the use of social media in analyzing and managing rapidly emerging natural disasters in the country, and to contribute to the development of a smart warning system that relies on accurate data provided by social media platforms, which includes time and location, in addition to Weather conditions at the country level are analyzed and analyzed using artificial intelligence technology, ensuring proactive warning of individuals and enhancing their preparedness.
The solutions reached by the students focused on creating a smart flood warning system consisting of a system to measure the intensity of rain in watersheds by installing inexpensive devices that measure rainfall and send data to a pre-prepared database, and use methods to predict the occurrence of floods through real-time data and data. Previous floods, determining the possibility of a flood and sharing the outputs through social media sites to alert individuals of the flood in the concerned urban area, and social media data can also be used to investigate the results of the system and work to improve it, and use an application to collect alerts and reports from users for documentation and further analyzes and studies.
Innovative solutions for sustainable aviation fuels
The fourth challenge, "Sustainable Aviation Fuel", aims to create new solutions that enhance the use of sustainable fuels in commercial flights, thus contributing to improving air navigation, enhancing passenger safety and providing them with a distinguished experience, by adopting sustainable innovation concepts in advancing the aviation industry, which will positively reflect on Reducing the environmental footprint and reducing carbon dioxide emissions.
The solutions focused on discussing global challenges in the manufacture of sustainable aviation fuel, such as limited demand and the high cost of production. The working group studied the best international practices in preparing policies and strategies for sustainable aviation fuels. The current challenges in this sector were identified and the necessary steps to confront them, and ways to stimulate industrialization in this field and compare the Norwegian experience by producing sustainable jet fuel from bio-waste recycling and study the impact of sustainable jet fuel prices on airline profit margins.
The creation of the “Possibility Hack” came in its first batch as a result of the strategic partnership between the Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, the Ministry of Possibilities, Colorado School of Mines in America, the Khalifa University for Science, Technology and Research, and the American University of Sharjah, and it provided an opportunity for young people to learn the best ways to face challenges and participate in solving it by applying the principles of leadership and proactive thinking that reflects the style of government work in the UAE through innovative steps based on proactiveness and flexibility within the “design, create, test and learn” methodology and the participation of all groups and members of society in finding innovative solutions, ideas and work models to reformulate and reengineer government work .
The Ministry of Possibilities, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, in a government initiative unprecedented in the world, embraces innovative work models to develop the new generation of government practices and included 4 virtual departments: Behavioral Rewards Department, Proactive Services Department, Government Procurement, and Talent Department.