MoEI marks innovation month 2023 with engaging line-up of activities - GulfToday

MoEI marks innovation month 2023 with engaging line-up of activities


Ahmad Al Hammadi and MoEI members visited the Dake Rechsand Sponge City Demo during the Innovation Week in Sharjah.

Inayat-ur-Rahman, Business Editor

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) has organised a host of activities over the course of three days to celebrate UAE Innovates 2023, a nation-wide festival organised annually to promote the culture of innovation in the UAE.

The MoEI’s activities evolve around its mandates, including buildings and sustainability, roads and transportation, and energy and water.

The Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure’s agenda of activities features workshops on designing homes of the future, sustainability tools, digitalization of infrastructure and construction, innovative paving solutions, industrial revolution in building units, smart solutions for rock slop protection, and youth dialogue.

As innovation plays a key role in becoming future ready, the Ministry has launched the first edition of the Research and Innovation Award 2022-2023, as part of its ongoing efforts towards stimulating local, regional, and international talents to take part in designing future-oriented government work models, in line with the country’s objectives for the next 50 years.

Dake Rechsand, the Dubai-based company specialising in sustainability solutions for desert farming and water conservation, showcased the revolutionary potential of Sponge Cities in mitigating floods and addressing water scarcity — two utmost priorities for the UAE. Sponge Cities, promoted by Dake Rechsand through its proprietary IDer range of solutions, was presented at the Innovation Week hosted by the UAE Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure (MoEI) in Sharjah.

Sponge City is a new urban development model aimed at creating sustainable and resilient urban environments through permeable roads, honeycomb water storage, rain gardens, and groundwater recharging. Such technologies manage stormwater and reduce runoffs, thus alleviating flooding and stormwater pollution, besides improving water quality and security and increasing green spaces. Today, when there is a need to integrate the blue (water), green (plants, trees, etc.), and grey (sewers, canals, etc.) infrastructures, the case for adopting an interdisciplinary solution such as Sponge Cities is compelling.

“We are continuously seeking innovative solutions that address our day-to-day challenges and public demands. At the Innovation Week, we had the chance to explore innovative solutions, such as Sponge City, which has the potential to improve the safety and quality of public facilities and infrastructure while enhancing response to emergencies and incidences throughout rainy seasons,” noted Eng Ahmad Al Hammadi, Director of Financial Sustainability and Investment, MoEI.

At Innovation Week, key stakeholders from the public and private sectors caught a glimpse of the possibilities that Sponge City can unlock. Following his observations, Dr Alaeldin Idris, Water Resources Expert, MOEI, said, “I haven’t come across innovation like this in many years. Sponge Cities are an amasing solution to harvest rainwater and support irrigation. Additionally, its filtration and redirection capabilities translate to efficient greywater management.”

Echoing the same sentiment, Eng Mohammed, Water Resources Division, MOEI, said: “Sponge Cities’ can be so beneficial to the UAE because of their viability for the 3Rs: Reduce, reuse, and recycle. The solution can meaningfully contribute to the UAE’s water-security efforts.” The demonstrable impact has encouraged Dake Rechsand to partner and collaborate with government entities, developers, and corporates across the seven Emirates to achieve national-level sustainability and climate action goals.

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