SRTI Park's CEO reviews 2019, charts out innovative path ahead
SRTI Park CEO: “We are looking at a lot of development within 3D technology – in terms of construction, metal, and plastic.”
The chief executive officer of Sharjah Research, Technology, and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), HE Hussain Al Mahmoudi, reviewed the park’s 2019 accomplishments and provided an outlook for 2020 during an event held in line with the vision of the Sharjah Ruler HH Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi to establish Sharjah as the capital of education, scientific research, and innovation, with the support of the American University of Sharjah (AUS).
The SRTI Park aims to focus on key industries including water; design, production, and architecture; renewable energy; mobility and smart cities; as well as environmental technology, among others.
Commenting on the year ahead, Al Mahmoudi told Construction Week: “2020 will bring a lot of exciting technologies into the market. We are looking at a lot of development within 3D technology – in terms of construction, metal, and plastic.”
Al Mahmoudi added: “We are also looking at autonomous vehicles and new emerging technologies of trains, as well as agricultural technologies surrounding hydroponic farming. We will focus on fantastic projects driven by artificial intelligence, as well.”
Al Mahmoudi detailed the role that its innovation partner companies are playing in building systems of the future using the SRTI Park platform.
For instance, Cafu App technologies is developing the region’s first fuel delivery application; while the Institute for Transformational Development (ITD) will be building a virtual SRTIPark experience as well as a 360-degree experience dome at SRTI Park.
Al Mahmoudi also pointed to green technology pilot projects developed as part of Merlin Digital's Sustainable Technologies research site, while alluding to the fact that the SRTI Park’s SkyWay project – which aims to carry passengers and cargo across 2.8km from the Sharjah Airport road to the University City road – has begun Phase 2 of its development.
In addition, the SRTI Park will also host a solar power and testing centre, and will soon integrate the Nokia 5G network as an enabler for its digital smart city.
Construction Week reported in November 2019 that the SRTI Park has begun the pilot phase of its autonomous vehicle operation as part of a strategic development project to build an integrated smart transport system.
The smart vehicle – produced by Netherlands-based 2GetThere, which is part of the ZF Group – uses pre-programmed routes to transport up to 20 passengers over short distances.
All of these projects have made the SRTI Park a platform for technological transfer within the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.
Al Mahmoudi said: “Sharjah has lately been coming into the news as the dark horse of the UAE. I think Sharjah is growing. The investment climate in Sharjah is becoming more lucrative. Also, when it comes to innovation, Sharjah has the right infrastructure that frankly not many people have.”
In fact, Sharjah has allocated 23% of its $7.9bn (AED29.1bn) 2020 budget to capital projects, including infrastructure development, and improvement of network, tunnels, as well as other primary facilities.
“The legislation in Sharjah is getting better. The government is supporting the investment climate in Sharjah by investing in infrastructure. We’re going to see big projects announced in the emirate in 2020,” Al Mahmoudi concluded.
A number of entities, including Arada, KEF Holdings, SOILab, Immensa Technology Labs, ITD, Nokia, 2GetThere, UNTIL, Cafu, Merlin, and SkyWay have partnered with SRTI Park to develop future technologies and solutions.