UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science Continues to Receive Innovative Research Proposals for Fourth Cycle

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  • Deadline for pre-proposal submission is 18 March, 2021
  • Research proposals eligibility to be determined through rigorous evaluation process led by international experts

Abu Dhabi, UAE:As part of its fourth cycle, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), managed by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), continues to receive innovative pre-proposals supporting rain enhancement research from countries across the globe.

The program has set 18 March 2021 as the deadline for pre-proposal submission for the program’s fourth cycle that was launched at the beginning of this year, followed by the selection and evaluation phase to shortlist the eligible projects. Each winning research proposal will receive up to US$1.5 million grant, distributed over three years with a maximum annual amount of $550,000.

Pre-proposals will go through a rigorous review process led by a select group of international experts with a wealth of scientific and engineering expertise pertinent to the submitted proposals to ensure ability to evaluate competence, significance and impact of the proposed activity. In addition to generalized knowledge of fields underlying atmospheric science, particularly rain enhancement in arid regions, the reviewers have extensive knowledge of the scientific and engineering enterprise, including managing and evaluation of large research projects.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of the National Center of Meteorology (NCM) and President of the Regional Association II (Asia), said: “NCM, through its promising rain enhancement research program, continues to attract a growing number of researchers and experts in rain enhancement field to encourage scientific research and enhance local and international capacity building. In addition to bringing new perspectives to existing research, such efforts help leverage innovation and new knowledge to develop cutting edge solutions for the most pressing water security challenges in the years to come.”

He added: “As we are set to start the review and evaluation of pre-proposals, we are confident that the process will yield productive results in identifying innovative ideas. This will translate into a profound impact on rain enhancement research by improving its effectiveness in increasing precipitation, reducing water scarcity, and securing sustainable fresh-water resources, particularly for arid and semi-arid regions.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), said: “Focusing on areas identified by international experts and scientists, the research projects received as part of the program’s fourth cycle will open up new avenues of research in rain enhancement, while building on the knowledge gained through the past nine awardee projects. This will enable us to make our future research efforts more effective in addressing water security challenges.”

Al Mazroui added: “The evaluation and selection phase is key to determining the merits of the research proposals and inviting the research teams to present their full proposals, which will also be carefully reviewed to ensure their efficiency in presenting innovative and viable ideas. This will help the program achieve its objective of advancing rain enhancement science and developing new technologies to increase precipitation and promote water security in the UAE and other arid regions worldwide.”

Between 2015 and 2017, nine research projects were awarded by the program, each focused on one or more of its research areas of interest. The fourth cycle builds on and extends the results of these projects while also leveraging new technology advances that can be applied to the field of rain enhancement.

Identified by a team of prominent international experts and scientists in atmospheric research and technologies, the new research areas of the fourth cycle complement the existing ones and build on the program’s previous work. These areas were selected based on the outputs of the nine research projects awarded earlier, and the recommendations from the solicitation workshop held as part of the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum.

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.

Following the announcement of the fourth cycle awardees in January 2022, the winning projects will enter the crucial execution phase that will run for three years, during which regular evaluation of the projects’ progress and laboratory and field experiments will be conducted. This will ensure their effectiveness in different environments and atmosphere conditions and relevance for application in the UAE and other regions facing water scarcity around the world.

Launched under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, UAE Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs in 2015, the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science supports innovative research and new technologies to advance rain enhancement science and weather modification.