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Targeted research areas for the UAE Rain Enhancement Program’s fourth cycle projects

The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) has announced the targeted research areas of the program’s future awarded projects, in preparation for the official opening of the UAE Rain Enhancement Program’s (UAEREP) fourth cycle for proposal submission in early 2021.

The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science was launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs in 2015 and supports innovative research and technology proposals that advance the field of Rain Enhancement Science, particularly in arid regions.

The Program offers each winning research proposal a grant of up to US$1.5 million distributed over three years with a maximum annual amount of US$550,000.

The updated research areas complement the existing ones and build on the program’s previous work distinguished by a team of prominent international experts and scientists in atmospheric research and technologies.

Based on the outputs of the nine research projects awarded between 2015 and 2017, these research areas were selected during the 4th cycle UAEREP solicitation workshop held in Geneva with the recommendations from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert meeting.

Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of WMO, His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous said:

“In announcing the program’s updated targeted research areas, we are taking an important step in pushing forward the rain enhancement research to the next level of impact and sophistication. One important aspect of the new solicitation document will be its emphasis on the development and deployment of innovative technologies to foster future research in this emerging field. This focus will improve our ability to address water-stress issues more effectively in line with the aspirations of our leadership, while enhancing the UAE’s position as a global hub for rain enhancement.”

Dr. Al Mandous added:

“Given the profound impact of innovation on scientific research, UAEREP aims to attract new researchers, technologists and entrepreneurs to further develop local and global capacity in this field. While doing so, we seek to bring new perspectives to rain enhancement research and support the development of demand-driven solutions that can address the most pressing water-security challenges in the years to come.”

The updated research areas place high priority on emerging technologies and innovations to drive the development rain enhancement science. These areas include advances in weather modeling and forecasting using artificial intelligence and ensemble modelling, evaluation of rain enhancement efficacy through the utilization of cloud chamber and use of randomized inputs in statistical methods, innovations in rain enhancement systems through the integration of new measurement and numerical tools, and testing and leveraging several rain enhancement models.

Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, Alya Al Mazroui commented:

“The research areas identified by our international experts and scientists create unexplored avenues for generating new knowledge and innovation in rain enhancement science, while also building on the results and expertise gained over the program’s nine awarded projects between 2015 and 2017. This will help us direct our future research efforts towards areas with broader implications for arid regions to address their most pressing water security challenges.”

The main goal of the program, managed by the NCM, is to promote fundamental scientific understanding of rain enhancement as well as stimulate the development and deployment of rain enhancement technologies. In parallel, the program will continue to support previously targeted areas to help the awardees fulfill the objectives of their projects.

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