WFES 2019 Preview

El Haddad ... presenting future solutions

El Haddad ... presenting future solutions

WFES provides focal point for innovations, partnerships

The high-profile show offers a globally-prominent event performing a distinctive role as a catalyst for new thinking and exciting joint ventures, says NAJI EL HADDAD, WFES group event director, in an exclusive interview with K S SREEKUMAR


The World Future Energy Summit (WFES) 2019, part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week hosted by Masdar in partnership with Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi, would this year see billions of dollars’ worth of deals being signed over the course of four days after the show opens on January 14, 2019.

"With billions of dollars’ worth of deals set to be made among leading regional and international companies, the platform offers immense scope for business development, not least through the highly successful Sustainability Business Connect Programme, which in the 2018 edition of the event facilitated 10,000 meetings with 7,000+ users through a dedicated online platform," says Naji El Haddad, WFES group event director, in an exclusive interview with OGN.

Every year, WFES attracts thousands of global leaders across a broad spectrum of decision makers, business executives, technologists, media and academia, he says.

By serving as a global forum for the most prominent thought leaders and innovators, the event is one of the most powerful and influential gatherings currently helping to accelerate sustainable development, investment and innovation aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and UAE’s own National Agenda says El Haddad.


Excerpts from the interview:

How will WFES 2019 be different from the previous editions of the show?

Led by UAE’s national innovation and sustainability agendas, WFES connects policy makers, scientists and businesses and explores global and sustainable priorities. The event provides a focal point for partnerships and investments through exclusive networking, sustainable alternatives, public-private sector solutions based on disruptive technologies, showcased sustainability champions, and initiatives to enhance youth awareness and engagement.

A discussion taking place at a previous edition of the show

Examining current challenges and presenting future solutions by bringing together leading organisations, influencers and corporations to devise impactful solutions for a range of key issues, WFES is organised on seven core pillars - Energy and Climate Change; Water; the Future of Mobility; Space; Biotechnology; Tech for Good; and Youth for Sustainability (Y4S).

With billions of dollars’ worth of deals set to be made among leading regional and international companies, the platform offers immense scope for business development, not least through the highly successful Sustainability Business Connect Programme, which in the 2018 edition of the event facilitated 10,000 meetings with 7,000+ users through a dedicated online platform.

One of the highlights of the week will be the Future Summit, which will examine the extent to which disruptive and innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) can be enlisted to serve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals while also shaping the sustainable businesses of tomorrow. Set to take place from January 15-16, the summit will explore the full range of sustainability and renewable energy issues with an emphasis on the cross-pollination of the latest breakthroughs from innovators and technologists working across many industries active in the sector.

In addition to WFES’s well-established platforms for business interaction and agenda-setting policy discussions, new features for the 2019 Summit will include:

• The Abu Dhabi Sustainable Finance Forum, an innovative new event seeking new investment and funding options for sustainable ideas and projects;

• The ‘Innovation Trail’, a guide that will map cutting-edge technologies and breakthrough products from select companies on the show floor; and

• Youth4Sustainability (Y4S), a platform for students, young professionals, innovators and entrepreneurs to learn about the future of the sustainability industry and engage with industry experts.

WFES is part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar in partnership with Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi.


How many events will be co-located with WFES 2019?

Across the broad range of innovation within the global sustainability sector, WFES offers a globally-prominent event performing a distinctive role as a catalyst for new thinking and exciting joint ventures by providing a platform for businesses to connect and accelerate commercially driven innovations to tackle interconnected resource and renewables challenges.

Every year, WFES attracts thousands of global leaders across a broad spectrum of decision makers, business executives, technologists, media and academia. By serving as a global forum for the most prominent thought leaders and innovators, the event is one of the most powerful and influential gatherings currently helping to accelerate sustainable development, investment and innovation aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the objectives of the 2015 Paris Agreement, and UAE’s own National Agenda.


What ground-breaking initiatives shall we witness at the show?

Forming a must-attend platform within WFES as ADSW’s key enabling event, the second edition of Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) will be one of the highlights of a week featuring a rich range events showcasing the full potential of a range of sustainable solutions.

The platform, hosted by the UAE’s Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and in partnership with UAE Space Agency, aims to connect entrepreneurs with investors in partnerships to accelerate the development of innovative and commercial tech-based solutions.

For its 2019 edition, CLIX has already received more than 750 submissions from over 70 countries and plans to increase the number of selected finalists by 80 per cent, up to a total of 48 startups and pre-startups. Taking place from January 14 to 17, 2019, CLIX ’19 is expected to attract over 3,000 entrepreneurs, investors, government officials, industry experts, young professionals and students to participate in this unique sustainability marketplace gathering.

The platform will cover a range of innovations including technologies traditionally used in space to support sustainable development here on Earth, new approaches to energy storage, energy efficiency, and renewable energy generation, and food sector technologies to enhance sustainable agriculture systems like vertical farming, biotechnology, and drones and robotics.


What disruptive technologies will be showcased at WFES 2019?

*ASIC Advanced water treatment using Electrochemical Cold Micro-Plasma discharge and Hydrodynamic Gravity Separator technology – UAE;

Description: Novel electrochemical cold microplasma technology and micro-tornado vortexes particle separation system for challenging water treatment and purification applications.

*SulphurSolve, a break-through non-hazardous and non-corrosive hydrogen sulphide odour control retrofit solution – US;

Description: A break-through non-hazardous and non-corrosive hydrogen sulphide control retrofit solution that reduces odor control or biogas scrubbing chemical costs by over 80 per cent for a typical wastewater treatment plant. Long term, SulphurSolve will provide a low cost, sustainable solution to the global gas sweetening problem.

*SkyH2O, highly efficient large scale industrial-graded Atmospheric Water Generation (AWG) technology for power and water grid infrastructure and Distributed Water Generation (DWG) applications – US;

Description: In addition to stand-alone container based and novel building integrated AWG solutions, SkyH2O’s Water Power Tower (WPT) is a ground-breaking new concept seamlessly integrating AWG water generation, intelligent storage and management with water production starting at about 100,000/litres/day at a LCOW of about $0.01/litre for clean fresh water in many locations with an inherent and unique grid power storage potential.

* Aquam Advanced Robotic Pipe Crawler system for pipe-inspection – US/UK;

Description: A very advanced and innovative robotic ROV crawler system for pressurised water, wastewater and industrial pipeline applications. The system is a long range 1,000 m capable crawler incorporating ultrasonic scanning technology and an acoustic sensor for accurate leak detection in all materials, pipe wall thickness measurements and high-resolution condition assessment inspections for precise remaining life expectancy calculations.


As a unique global platform, how has WFES enabled investment and innovation in energy, clean technology and sustainability over the years?

At last year’s event, more than $15 billion worth of projects and funding were announced, covering a number of local, regional and international agreements, thereby strengthening the UAE’s position as a leader in the advancement of renewable energy and clean technology.

Over the four days of the event, 850 exhibiting companies from 40 countries engaged with more than 33,000 attendees. More than 100 start-ups participated at WFES 2018 and over 10,000 pre-arranged business meetings were held. Exhibiting companies and a total of 18 national pavilions showcased some of the world’s latest and most advanced technologies, which are expected to play an integral part in the future development of the energy and sustainability industries.

We expect to maintain our momentum at WFES 2019. Under the theme ‘Embracing the Future, Welcoming Disruption’, we will host five exhibitions, three Thought-Leadership Summit and Forums, seven Industry Forums, and over 300 Speakers to help shape the future global sustainability dialogue.




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