The Masdar Institute of Science and Technology's underpinning strength is its leading edge research in sustainable energy technologies, systems, and policies. Joint research collaborations between Masdar Institute and MIT faculty address global energy and sustainability issues and seek to develop research and development capabilities in Abu Dhabi. Research activities are intended to have scientific, social, and economic merit globally and within the UAE and are evaluated by a Research Advisory Committee from both Masdar Institute and MIT.

The robust research system includes projects at multiple scales, from individual single-investigator projects, to group or team research efforts, to eventually larger research centers. Some of these research efforts will involve only Masdar Institute faculty, others involve MIT and Madar Institute faculty working on one-to-one joint collaborative research projects and new research efforts will involve teams from each side.

Chart showing multidisciplinary research at Masdar Institute
Multi-disciplinary, integrated approach to education and research at Masdar Institute

One-to-One Joint Collaborative Research

One-to-One (1:1) research builds upon and strengthens the strong relationship between MI and MIT and involves one MIT principal investigator (PI) and one MI PI. Forty-six 1:1 projects were initiated during the first five years (Phase I) and twenty-five are current now. We anticipate 20 new 1:1 research projects over the next five years (Phase II, 2011-2016). Below we group research within the eight programs in the Master of Science curriculum, highlighting the synergy between the academic programs and research projects.

Joint Flagship Research

The scope of the Flagship Research Projects, new to Phase II, reinforce and deepen Masdar Institute's core mission and values, and its signature research vision. These joint research projects are meant to focus on issues of interest and high potential impact to Abu Dhabi government or industry, such as the development of environmental technologies; energy and water resources; alternative energy-related technologies; advanced strategic technologies in support of Abu Dhabi development goals; and climate and sustainability needs. Three Joint Flagship Research projects, involving a minimum of three MIT faculty and three MI faculty working together on each project, begin in July 2012. We anticipate nine Joint Flagship Research Projects in Phase II (2011 2016). Joint Flagship Research Projects will lead the way to establishment of Research Centers.

Chart showing evolution of research
Evolution of research from seed funding to center establishment