Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), has launched Jumeirah Energy International Silicon Valley Company (JEI Silicon Valley), an investment subsidiary of DEWA, at a ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in California. HE Abdulla Alsaboosi, Consul General of the United Arab Emirates in Los Angeles, was present.
The investment company will primarily look for opportunities linked to research and development (R&D) and innovation. It will also enhance DEWA’s standing as a leading utility, and a sustainability and energy leader in the Middle East and North Africa and the Gulf Cooperation Council region.
“The launch of the new investment company supports the National Innovation Strategy … to make the UAE one of the most innovative countries in the world. DEWA gives priority to innovation, R&D, sustainability and renewable energy. DEWA is the first utility from the Middle East and North Africa to establish an investment, innovation and R&D company in Silicon Valley, where the most technology deals happen in the world. This will help make Dubai the smartest, and happiest city in the world. JEI Silicon Valley will also be instrumental in helping DEWA to achieve its vision to become a sustainable innovative world-class utility,” said Al Tayer.
Exploring investment opportunities
JEI Silicon Valley will look for investment opportunities into start-ups with technologies that are of interest to DEWA, and establish and maintain institutional relations with venture capitalist firms and investment funds to expand the reach of DEWA’s investment portfolio.
From an R&D perspective, JEI Silicon Valley will identify and build new strategic relationships with R&D centres, universities and research bodies, promote relations with existing partners, and enable direct access to cutting-edge market and industry information to shape new projects and technology focus areas. “As an investment company, JEI Silicon Valley will create direct links with the start-up network in Silicon Valley, California and all over the United States, allowing direct communications with start-ups,” added Al Tayer.
“We are also establishing the largest government accelerator programme in the world, based on a clear framework, innovation, and R&D. This is being done with incubators to identify solutions and develop renewable energy technologies. We are always working to keep up with the latest international practices, to promote the UAE and Dubai, and to ensure a brighter future for generations to come. DEWA also uses the best international R&D practices for the production, transmission, and distribution of electricity and water services. These are world-class, enhance living standards, and work to achieve the happiness of the community,” he said.
DEWA is currently working to establish an R&D centre at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, with a total investment of AED 500 million up to 2020. The work of the centre will revolve around four main areas of operation, which include the production of electricity from solar power, smart grid integration, energy efficiency, and water. The centre’s internal laboratories will conduct research on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), 3D printing, power electronics and energy efficiency.
“We will also have external laboratories to test pilot projects and prototypes, conduct field tests on new equipment and technologies, with a focus on removing dust from solar panels, to efficiently produce clean energy while reducing costs,” concluded Al Tayer.
DEWA staff attending included Waleed Salman, Executive Vice President of Business Development, Abdullah Obaidullah, Executive Vice President of Water and Civil, Dr Yousef Al Akraf, Executive Vice President of Business Support and Human Resources, Marwan Bin Haider, Executive Vice President of Innovation and the Future, and Ahmed Abdullah, Senior Manager of External Communications.
Main graphic credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Siliconvalley.JPG