DEWA has launched DEWA’s Innovation Week and has collaborated with its partners, universities, entrepreneurs, and innovators water and power to organise this initiative, with the participation of international spokespeople who specialise in energy, sustainability and water innovation.
This supports the directives of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to host UAE Innovation Week from 22-28 November, and His Highness’s view that, “Innovation is not an option or a culture but a lifestyle, and governments and companies that do not innovate risk losing their competitiveness and consequently will fall behind.”
DEWA’s Innovation Week comprises several innovative activities and events, including a Government Innovation Lab in which real-life tools will be used to promote innovation. DEWA’s Innovation Week also incorporates an ‘Innovation Exhibition’, through which DEWA’s employees, innovators and emerging companies will receive updates about the latest innovations to support DEWA’s work, and will have the opportunity to test these innovations. The exhibition will also showcase services and products which are not yet on the market, and will feature the latest research and technical concepts. DEWA has also organised inspirational talks under the title ‘I Talk’, with the participation of innovative high-profile guest speakers, who will host talks for DEWA staff and attending members of the public. The objective is to spread a culture of innovation by sharing experiences about the application of innovation, so that attendees can learn about how innovation is best planned and executed.
DEWA has also organised a ‘Design Thinking Lab’ that comprises a series of workshops, spread over three days, to explore challenges faced by DEWA, and to discover innovative methods to overcome these challenges, using the ‘Better Today’ design thinking methods. DEWA will host an Innovation Conference, featuring international experts whose speeches focus on the roles that sustainability and renewable energy have played in some of the most important innovations worldwide. DEWA has also organised a Build-It-Yourself Robotics Kits competition for schoolchildren from the age of six, up to high-school age. The robotics kits are equipped with sustainable innovative gadgets, such as solar panels, sensors, chargeable batteries, and programmable microcontrollers.
The activities also include the launch of ‘My Innovation’ (Ibtikari in Arabic), to encourage innovators and designers from the UAE and abroad to offer innovations via a smart platform. This includes science and engineering competitions for university students and engineering specialists to identify scientific solutions and innovations in sustainability and water.
“To support the directives of our President, His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, who stressed the importance of innovation to the UAE’s strategy, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, declared 2015 to be the Year of Innovation, and launched the UAE National Innovation Strategy. I am pleased to welcome you to Dubai Electricity and Water Authority’s (DEWA’s) head office today. Together, we will observe a moment that will be remembered in history, as we experience the first day of the UAE’s annual Innovation Week, launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Today, DEWA ranks alongside some of the biggest companies in the world, thanks to the excellent standards of efficiency and reliability in management and technology it has achieved since its formation. This could never have happened without accurate planning, and the implementation of innovative projects and solutions, adopted and used by DEWA,” said HE Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of DEWA, in his opening address.
“DEWA’s innovative projects have led it to become an international model of excellence in innovation of service development, management and technical efficiency. The Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park is the biggest single-site solar project in the world, based on the Independent Power Producer (IPP) model. Working in cooperation with the private sector, we want the Solar Park to have a capacity of 3,000 megawatts by 2030. We are also advancing our smart grid project to connect over one million smart meters to a smart integrated electricity and water grid. Starting from the main production stations, all the way to the end consumer point, the smart grid will host a wide range of applications to manage consumption with the highest levels of efficiency. At DEWA, we are proud of the progress we have made with the Green Charger initiative, to establish an effective infrastructure for electric vehicles to reduce carbon emissions and to achieve the Emirate’s sustainability goals. The Shams Dubai initiative is another practical example of the success of our innovation strategy,” added Al Tayer.
“DEWA’s staff designed its innovative Minimal Electricity Line Losses project to reduce the percentage of our grid power losses in distribution stations to 3.5% between 2011 and 2012, from 7.03% in 1998. This was achieved by adhering to the best international technical standards and solid engineering practices in power system planning, design, construction and operation. This figure is considered to be the lowest worldwide, compared to 6-7% in Europe and the USA. This has increased the reliability of DEWA’s network and achieved huge cost savings for DEWA. We also implemented a series of innovative projects to improve the efficiency of gas turbines in Jebel Ali, to generate the most amount of power and water we could extract from the fuel used during the generation process. These projects have won DEWA’s staff several local and international awards and accolades. DEWA’s results are among the best internationally for customer minutes lost per year. DEWA recorded 4.9 minutes in 2014, compared to 15 minutes recorded by leading utilities in the European Union.”
“DEWA continues to pursue an innovative approach, and to build its future strategic plans to support sustainable development in Dubai. DEWA has adopted innovation within its strategy for 2021, and has adopted Strategic Innovation as one of 5 major pillars of DEWA’s Strategic Plan 2021. We aim to achieve the goals of our strategy by the time we celebrate the Golden Jubilee of our Union,” said Al Tayer.
“I want to thank the national universities and teams that participated in the DEWA 2021 graphic design competition, which we launched as part of UAE Innovation Week, to give students the opportunity to share their innovation and ideas with an audience, to reflect the five strategic pillars within DEWA’s Strategic Plan 2021. During today’s event, we will announce the names of the winning teams, decided by an internal vote among DEWA’s staff, and an external public vote on DEWA’s Instagram page. I wish you all good luck. We will also celebrate the launch of the third phase of our Mu’asherat programme, which is a huge achievement for DEWA, and another example of its employees’ abilities to innovate in every field. Employees completed an important stage that included automating 10 balanced scorecards in 10 DEWA departments, and 500 strategic and operational performance indices. This enables DEWA’s leadership to access accurate information anytime, anywhere, to enhance dynamic decision-making processes,” concluded Al Tayer.