Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, yesterday announced it will highlight key research projects for their innovative role in safeguarding food security and sustainable agriculture at the Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture (GFIA) 2015.
GFIA is being organised from 9-11 March 2015 under the patronage of HH Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Chairman of Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority, at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
Faculty members will lead teams that will showcase the research projects at the Masdar Institute stand (A-241). The projects will include development of sustainable food and bioenergy through an Integrated Seawater, Energy and Agriculture System (ISEAS) pilot facility, improvement of Abu Dhabi's soil texture and quality through the use of palm frond waste, and regeneration of specific Abu Dhabi soils for agricultural purposes through the introduction of beneficial microbes with moisture and water retaining biodegradable micro-beads. In addition, two faculty members will participate in panel discussions and share their expertise at the event.
"The Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture is an effective platform to showcase some of our regionally relevant research projects. This event will validate the valuable contributions of our research to local as well as international stakeholders. As a leading research-oriented academic institution seeking innovation in clean energy and sustainable technologies, Masdar Institute remains committed to obtaining solutions to challenges faced by the UAE and the region," said Dr Steve Griffiths, Executive Director, Office of Institute Initiatives, Masdar Institute.
The display of the project that seeks to transform Abu Dhabi's palm frond waste into a food security solution will be led by Dr. Lina F. Yousef, Assistant Professor, Water and Environmental Engineering. The research is expected to result in new technologies for enhancing the agricultural landscape and for water conservation in soil, which is directly relevant to the UAE's vision of becoming a leader in environmental conservation and water resource management. Dr Yousef will also be part of a panel discussion on restoring and managing marginal lands for agriculture.
At the same time, Dr Hector H. Hernandez, Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering, will brief visitors on the display of the research project that aims to regenerate specific Abu Dhabi soils for agricultural purposes. This project has the potential to help alleviate the poor conditions of the UAE soils and increase both the overall production of food from current agricultural farms and increase the availability of farmland for future use.