UAE Science Symposium

British Council

Monday 30 October 2017 to Wednesday 01 November 2017

Application for Science Collaboration Symposium

Attending Countries: UK and Gulf Countries

Theme: Clean and Renewable Energy

Dates: 30 October – 1 November 2017

Location: United Arab Emirates


The availability of enormous renewable energy potential in the Gulf region, coupled with a number of other factors, has encouraged most of these countries to develop renewable energy projects and declare national targets for deployment of renewable energy technologies. These factors vary from one country to another, but in general include population growth, economic expansion, industrialisation, urbanisation, rural development, scarcity of water resources and climate change vulnerabilities. 

The Gulf region is comprised of some of the world’s largest hydrocarbon producing countries. Combined, these countries control almost a third of proven crude-oil reserves and approximately a fifth of global gas reserves. Harnessing these fossil fuel reserves and their subsequent export has underpinned impressive economic growth, which consequently has brought about widespread prosperity and development. Hydrocarbon exports have been an engine for development, but fossil fuels are increasingly utilised to meet rising domestic energy demands.

Rapid industrialisation, population growth, and increasing requirements for water desalination are resulting in rising energy demands, impacting the ability of some countries to maintain export levels over the long-term. These dynamics have compelled governments to embark on a diversification strategy to meet growing needs and support continued economic growth. A systematic diversification of the region’s energy towards alternative sources, including renewable energy, presents ample opportunities as it would free up domestic petroleum and gas production for export. Additionally, a transition towards a more sustainable energy future would reduce carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions and bring a wide array of other socio-economic benefits including job creation and increased local economic diversification; an aspiration deeply embedded in the visions and development strategies of all the Gulf countries.

Water use is also intrinsically linked to energy supply in the region. Gulf countries are faced with limited natural water supplies and ever increasing demand due to rapid population growth. Water scarcity is a reality mitigated by high reliance on sea water desalination which is an energy intensive activity. Increasingly, Gulf countries have been exploring renewable energy technologies to provide the energy required for their desalinations needs. Renewable energy can provide a low carbon alternative to meet water demand and free up gas resources for commercial purposes. Water and energy are also intrinsically linked, with a vast potential for harnessing energy from wastewater, hydroelectricity and other innovative forms of renewable technologies.

The latest innovations, research practices and technologies related to clean and renewable energy will be discussed, including (but not limited to) the following areas:

1. Solar Energy 

2. Wind Energy 

3. Waste to Energy 

4. Wave Power 

5. Geothermal Energy 

6. Nuclear Energy

7. Biofuels

8. Use of renewable energy for water desalination

9. Water-Energy Nexus

10. Hydroelectric power 

The Symposium will be held at the UAE University in Al Ain from 30th October to 1st November 2017. It will be attended by scientists from research institutions and start-up companies/industries from the Gulf countries and the UK. It will invite open discussions and potential investment to encourage the creation of UK-Gulf collaboration to access the deep pool of information & technology sharing, which will in turn lead to benefits for both the Gulf and the UK and open the door for commercial opportunities. We are asking researchers to present their stimulating work and ideas related to clean and renewable energies.

This Symposium is delivered as part of the UK Gulf Science Innovation Knowledge Economy Programme, which will also launch the second round of calls for research proposals via the Institutional Links in the Spring of 2018. Renewable energy will be one of the topics included in this call. 

This symposium is funded by the British Government as part of the UK commitment to further support collaboration between the UK and Gulf science communities and is organised by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the UK Science & Innovation Network and the British Council in partnership with the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain. 

The following expenses will be covered for the researchers selected to attend: 

• Visa to UAE (if required). This will be processed through our local travel agency.

• Return economy flight to/from Abu Dhabi International Airport.

• Return airport transfers - Abu Dhabi International Airport / Hotel / Abu Dhabi International Airport.

• 4 night’s accommodation in a single room for international delegates (check-in on 29 October and check-out on 2 November).

• 3 night accommodation in a single room for UAE delegates coming from other Emirates (check-in on 29 October and check-out on 1 November).

• Transportation between Hotel / Venue / Hotel.

• All meals will be provided during your stay.

Please note that those attending from industry/SMEs must be self-funded.

Application Deadline

The deadline for receiving applications is 19 August 2017

Completed applications should be sent to