14th World Future Energy Summit Ends Three-Day Run As Partnership Catalyst
Start-ups addressing social, cultural, and environmental challenges identified
Abu Dhabi, UAE –: The 2023 World Future Energy Summit ended a three-day run at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC) today (18 January), with the 14th edition of the leading business event for future energy and sustainability being hallmarked by high-level partnership signings, start-up incubator support and sector policy disclosures ahead of November’s hosting by the UAE of COP28.
“The 2023 Summit will be long seen as a powerhouse platform of inspiration and progressive action across key sustainability sectors,” said Leen Alsebai, Head of World Future Energy Summit, and General Manager of Summit organiser RX Middle East. “It has set the stage for further advancement of the Summit with Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the wider Middle East demonstrating a strong appetite for energy transition solutions and knowledge.”
The 2023 Summit’s six vertical exhibitions and five dedicated forums, which individually addressed vital energy challenges and multi-sectoral impacts, were often packed to capacity as the entire energy eco-system looked to advance sustainability pathways and net zero roadmaps.
‘Sign on the dotted line’ – Multitude of partnerships inked at Summit
The Summit witnessed a hive of business activity across the industry value chain. The UAE’s BEEAH Group announced a partnership with the UK’s Chinook Sciences and Japan’s Air Water to form a consortium to advance progress on the Middle East’s first waste-to-hydrogen plant.
The Group later announced a new vertical – BEEAH Education – which consolidates its educational and awareness programmes for a sustainable future. The new vertical is aimed at playing a key Group role in sharing BEEAH’s expertise and innovation within Middle Eastern markets, as well as contribute to the region’s knowledge-based economies. BEEAH Education is now responsible for internal training and development of sustainability knowledge across the Group’s offices in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
Meanwhile, RECAPP, the digital recycling solution for individuals and businesses from Veolia, partnered with the UAE supermarket group Spinneys to provide in-store collection points aimed at making recycling in the country more convenient, sustainable, and rewarding. Later, Emirates Global Aluminium, the UAE’s largest industrial company outside the oil and gas sector, teamed up with beverage producers, can makers and waste management companies and used the Summit to launch its Aluminium Recycling Coalition to drive an industry step change in the UAE.
Its coalition members include Abu Dhabi Waste Management Company (Tadweer), Aujan Coca-Cola Beverages Company, BEEAH Tandeef, Pepsi-bottler Dubai Refreshment, CANPACK, Crown Bevcan EMEA, DULSCO Group and Veolia. The coalition will support a study by the International Aluminium Institute on aluminium recycling rates and behaviours in the UAE to fully understand the scale of the opportunity and potential solutions.
And the rising aircraft lessor AviLease, signed an MoU with the Saudi Investment Recycling Company to produce and distribute sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) to AviLease’s growing client base. Edward O’Byrenb, CEO of AviLease, commented: “Through this unique partnership, we will bundle the supply of SAF into our offerings, which we believe will trigger large-scale production of SAF in a country that has the natural competitive advantages to become a low-cost producer.”
Ma’an Social Incubator halos 11 social tech start-ups at Demo Day
The final day of the Summit also saw 11 social tech start-ups, including nine from the UAE, pitch in a Demo Day as part of the Ma’an Social Incubator (MSI) programme, which is devoted to developing solutions to social, cultural, and environmental challenges.
The tailored pitch platform enabled start-ups in three categories – Green Cities, Circular Economy, and Sustainable Transport – to outline their early-stage concepts to potential investors as part of efforts to scale their businesses into impactful social enterprises and not-for-profit organisations empowering partnerships and collaboration.
Start-ups included Arcab, which helps fleet operators fill idle hours and empty vehicle seats by connecting them to companies looking for employee transport solutions; Below Farm – the world’s first AgriTech company specialising in end-to-end mushroom cultivation solutions for arid climates; BIRD Collective – a global collaboration of innovative sustainable solutions intended to build the conscious consumer mindset; Bydaar – an app-based marketplace for gardening services and products; the EcoCentric delivery service for food, grocery, and eco-friendly merchandise; Fuse EV, which is pushing electric vehicle adoption; Manhat, a deep technology provider of natural water distillation patented technology; NÜWATER, a sustainable alternative to single-use plastic bottled water; RePlaste, a sustainable material design studio; Solva Technologies, which helps businesses jumpstart deliveries by connecting them with third-party partners; and The Food Engineer, which offers aeroponic tech to grow fresh and pesticide-free produce anywhere that has an electricity and water supply.
“This incubator programme is enabling our fundraising to further develop our technologies, finalise our project, and bring the product to market,” said Saeed Al Hassan, Founder, Manhat. “This Summit has been incredible for us as it put us in front of a unique set of sustainability-focused stakeholders and potential investors. Our focus now is launching the project’s pilot phase; that will be crucial because it enables us to figure out the key economics of our products and to showcase what we can do on a larger scale. After the pilot, we will start selling crops that we produce in the pilot. Once we show we can grow a sustainable crop using our technologies, more customers will be open to partnering with Manhat – and all of that is possible because of Ma’an and this event.”
“This year’s Summit, perhaps more than any other, has demonstrated the energy industry’s genuine and re-emerging commitment to transition and change. The activity levels, coupled with near record numbers of visitors, cements the energy worlds commitment to the region and supporting all the incredible things that are happening,” added Alsebai.
The World Future Energy Summit is hosted by Masdar and is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, a global platform for accelerating the world’s sustainable development. The event is held in partnership with ENOWA.