In late June, the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft and the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, representing the Masdar City Project, signed a cooperative agreement for a strategic partnership.The long-term goal of the partnership is to establish close cooperation in the field of sustainable urban development and building planning.
Participating in the cooperation are the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO, the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP as well as the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE.
“Coupling applied research with sustainability is one of the strengths of our Institutes,” says Prof. Hans-Jörg Bullinger, President of the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft.
Masdar City is to be constructed on approximately 6 square kilometers, located about 30 kilometers east of the capital Abu Dhabi. The city is designed to sustain a population of about 50,000. The planned carbon-neutral city will be supplied entirely by renewable energy, use systematic recycling techniques so that it is nearly waste-free and will have significantly reduced water consumption.
Planners have developed an underground transportation system so the streets will be car-free.
At the outset, each of the participating institutes in the new partnership will send one representative to form a project group in Masdar City and together they will work on forming a research center. Further, the representatives will explore the possibility of creating a joint institute for sustainable urban development.
According to a press release from the Fraunhofer Institute, the group will try to work closely with the Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, which is currently being constructed.
Existing contacts and ongoing projects, especially with the Fraunhofer ISE were the basis for starting the strategic cooperation. Currently the ISE is working on projects with Masdar in the field of solar climatization as well as solar-thermal process heating. Three spin-off companies of ISE, Mirroxx, Concentrix Solar and Solar Spring, have already established contacts in Masdar.
“To initiate rapid change from our present energy supply system to one based on renewable energies, we need ambitious examples. The construction of a world-wide exemplary concept for sustainable urban planning within this initiative will have global impact, and we are looking forward to make a substantial contribution to this project”, said Prof. Eicke R. Weber, Institute Director of ISE, who, as the representative for the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, signed the Memorandum of Understanding.
“Our mission is to accelerate innovation in clean and renewable technologies and make these available and affordable on a global scale”, said Masdar CEO Dr. Sultan Al Jaber. “We believe global collaboration is essential to achieving this mission and our partnerships with MIT, DLR, Imperial College and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are proof of this. The collaboration with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will also ensure Masdar plays a key role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy sector; driving continual innovation and commercialization of clean and sustainable energy technologies.”