UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science Shortlists 9 Pre-proposals from Fourth Cycle Submissions

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Abu Dhabi-UAE: The UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), managed by the National Center of Meteorology (NCM), today announced the selection of 9 innovative pre-proposals from the 81 submissions received for the program’s fourth cycle. The shortlisted pre-proposals covered various areas of research that included cloud microphysics, cloud seeding assessment, seeding materials assessment, droplet charge measurement, cloud seeding prediction support, and the use of artificial intelligence techniques.

His Excellency Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director of NCM and President of the Regional Association II (Asia) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), said: “The selection of eligible research projects for the program’s fourth cycle marks a key step in NCM’s continued efforts to promote scientific collaboration in rain enhancement research in line with of the directives of our wise leadership. Our aim is to ensure that the shortlisted projects provide important knowledge and scientific propositions to this vital research area, while delivering a profound impact on the global efforts to address water scarcity.”

The shortlist was finalized following a month-long evaluation process that culminated in the meeting of the international technical review committee virtually from 17 to 19 May, 2021 to reach agreement on the final shortlist of successful applicants. The selected pre-proposals were drawn from a wide variety of scientific fields relevant to rain enhancement, from 81 total submissions, presented by 378 scientists and researchers affiliated with 159 institutions across 37 countries on five continents. The pre-proposals selected were scored based on four evaluation criteria: research excellence, impact and quality; experience and/or expertise of the proposers, and potential for success; multidisciplinary collaboration across academic, industry and government partners; and the potential to enhance or transform the weather modification research community and industry in the UAE and across the globe.

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP), lauded the efforts of international technical review committee in ensuring a thorough and well-rounded review of the submissions and enabling the Program to identify the most innovative and promising ideas to proceed to the next round of evaluation.

Al Mazroui added: “The research proposals shortlisted by the program’s fourth cycle are characterized by their high quality in terms of scientific merit and potential impact. The expertise of the members of the international technical committee and their efforts to identify the most promising research ideas have allowed us to shortlist projects with significant potential to enhance our cloud seeding capabilities through harnessing innovative technologies. In addition to complementing our existing research, such efforts will help us break new ground in this vital scientific domain that serves as a key pillar of global water security.”

The technical committee comprised global experts and specialists in a broad range of disciplines including weather modification, ensemble modelling, cloud and aerosol microphysics, remote sensing, and artificial intelligence.

The researchers are now invited to prepare and submit their full proposals no later than midnight 26 August, 2021 (GMT), following which the technical committee will reconvene to evaluate the full proposals and select the fourth cycle awardees.

The fourth cycle of the UAE’s pioneering rain enhancement program is currently underway and offers a US$1.5 million grant for each winning research proposal, distributed over three years. The grants will enable these projects to move from theory to practice, provided that the winning projects shall start implementation within a month after the announcement of awardees in January 2022.