Organized in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Education Council (ADEC), the workshop raised awareness about the impact of the Prize and encouraged school principals and advisors to explore ways they can integrate sustainable practices and projects at their schools and submit.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize is an annual $4m award, which recognizes individuals, companies, organizations and schools that have made significant contributions in the fields of renewable energy and sustainability.
The workshop was also part of an annual outreach strategy conducted by the Zayed Future Energy Prize to increase the quality and caliber of submissions. The outreach efforts will include participation in global renewable energy forums and meetings.
Participants were welcomed and briefed by Dr. Nawal Al-Hosany, director of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, and Maha Jabour, special advisor to Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, director general of ADEC. Attendees were also taken on a tour of the MI campus – an independent, graduate-level research university dedicated to advancing renewable energy and sustainable technologies.
Dr. Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, director general of the Zayed Future Energy Prize, said, “As a reflection of the focus that the Abu Dhabi leadership has placed on educating youth, the Zayed Future Energy Prize presents an opportunity for students and schools to contribute to a world that’s rapidly adopting sustainable practices. We need more young people involved in the important fields of renewable energy and clean technology, and it’s through workshops like this that we can present tangible ways for students to become engaged.”
The Prize consists of five categories, including large corporation, small and medium enterprise (SME), non-governmental organization (NGO), global high schools and the individual lifetime achievement award. The global high schools award recognizes five schools from five regions around the world (Americas, Europe, Africa, Asia and Oceania).
While all other categories of the Prize focus on existing impact, the Global High Schools award is granted to schools who submit a winning bid to implement a project in their respective schools. As part of the UAE’s commitment to the UN Secretary General’s Sustainable Energy For All initiative, the Global High School award is granted to schools that submit a project that contributes to one or all of the initiative’s goals: doubling renewable energy, doubling energy efficiency or contributing to energy access.
“Integrating sustainable practices into the fabric of the education sector is necessary to achieving educational excellence – a core function of ADEC,” said Dr. Mugheer Khamis Al Khaili, director general of ADEC. “Through these collaborative efforts, ADEC is capitalizing on the experience and expertise of the different initiatives in the UAE to ensure that future generations are well equipped to face the challenges that lie ahead. The UAE economy is fast growing and is in need of qualified graduates in all fields to sustain the economic boom led by HH the president of the country which means we have to create new modern educational disciplines according to the highest international standards in order to achieve the Abu Dhabi 2030 economic vision.”
Submissions for the Prize opened on March 4, 2013 and will close on August 5, 2013. In 2012, a school from the UAE, the Sheikh Khalifa Bangladeshi Islamia School, won the Asia region Global High School award. The school is using the winnings to introduce roof-top solar panels to supply energy as part of a long-term commitment to sustainability. In the second phase, the school plans to use solar energy to power its air conditioners.
The Zayed Future Energy Prize awards ceremony will be taking place on January 20, 2014 as part of the annual Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week.
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