Sykes looks to the Gulf for friends

Imperial College’s rector Professor Sir Richard Sykes warned us all that if we cut up rough about letting him rule the roost over Wye his new energy research ideas could ‘all go to Abu Dhabi‘. And he was right. Imperial announced today that it has joined a ‘global initiative to develop alternative, advanced technologies to address problems relating to energy and the environment’, based there.

The Masdar Research Network entails the creation of an ‘Energy Futures Lab’ that involves the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company, WTH Aachen University, the University of Waterloo, Columbia University. the German Aerospace Centre, and the Tokyo Institute of Technology as well as Imperial.

The brief is to explore ‘diverse areas of energy research including urban systems, carbon management and electrical networks. Planned areas of research for the Network include electro-dialysis technology for water desalination, advanced solar panels, solar structures for buildings and solar thermal towers, carbon sequestration, cleaner transport systems, green development and urban water management’. How many different energy institutes does Imperial want to be involved in, you wonder.

Dr Tidu Maini , pro-rector at Imperial College spoke glowingly of the idea. ‘The Masdar Research Network initiative is highly exciting. It is not just of value to the Gulf region but to the whole world. I know of no other initiative that is bringing together such leading research groups from across the world and providing them with the resources to carry out blue-sky research aimed at new energy and environmental sustainability solutions. I am particularly impressed by the joined-up thinking of Masdar and how the research can then be further leveraged through joint ventures with industry and an investment fund to develop a portfolio of groundbreaking companies.’

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About David Hewson

Professional novelist, published in more than 20 languages. Creator of the Nic Costa series set in modern Rome. Most recent book the novel of the Danish TV series, The Killing.
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