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The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science Announces Three Awardees During its Fifth Cycle Awards Ceremony

Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Presidential Court, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), managed by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), today announced the three award recipients for the Program’s Fifth Cycle Grant Awards Ceremony. The ceremony was held at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.


The award recipients included a group of scientists from the Technology Innovation Institute (TII) for their project on laser-based rain triggering demonstrators with remote sensing technology, as well as a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for their project regarding the identification of clouds microphysical seedability in an actionable manner. Lastly, a group of researchers from Michigan Technological University, US, also received the award for their work on laboratory and modelling studies of cloud susceptibility to hygroscopic seeding.

 His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister, and Chairman of the Presidential Court, highlighted the UAE’s longstanding commitment to promoting collaboration in the face of global challenges. His Highness also referred to the establishment of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science as an international research initiative that aims to attract prominent scientists and researchers from diverse scientific fields to develop new innovations and technologies in rain enhancement science.


In a speech delivered on his behalf by Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri, His Highness said: “This program serves as an authentic example of the UAE’s dedication to investing in scientific research and advanced technology to achieve water and food security, as well as environmental sustainability, on local, regional, and global scales. It has ushered in new beginnings for a technology that received limited attention in the latter half of the twentieth century. Furthermore, the program has expanded horizons for researchers in this field and offered them greater opportunities to contribute to alleviating water scarcity worldwide.”


His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan additionally extended his sincere congratulations and wishes of success to the three awarded Fifth Cycle teams.


Each winner will receive grants of up to US$1.5 million, distributed over a period of three years barring an initial two-month implementation, to facilitate the projects’ transition from theory to practice.


His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director General of NCM and President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said: “This awards cycle is a testament to the UAE’s commitment to bolstering water security both regionally and globally, particularly in the broader context of addressing climate change issues, as highlighted by its recent successful hosting of COP28.”

H.E. added: ‘I would like to congratulate the winning teams, and to confirm NCM’s commitment in supporting them to continue their progressive research on cloud and rainfall enhancement technology on a global scale, paving the way for a more sustainable future.”


Alya Al Mazroui, Director of UAEREP, said: “The growing challenges we face regarding water scarcity require a collective effort that knows no borders. By providing a platform and funding for a global research community in rain enhancement, UAEREP continues to serve as a hub for the international interchange of scientific growth and innovation. This stems from our shared understanding of the importance of science in building bridges of cooperation, encouraging the exchange of knowledge and innovation, and finding innovative solutions to pressing climate challenges, especially water scarcity.”


The ceremony follows a rigorous 2023 grant cycle, in which a designated committee reviewed eight proposals submitted by 64 scientific professionals affiliated with 35 institutions across ten countries, including the UAE. The proposals underwent thorough scrutiny by the committee, comprised of global specialists in weather modification applications, hydrometeorology, climate modeling, cloud physics, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence.