The National Center of Meteorology Announces Targeted Research Areas for the UAE Rain Enhancement Program’s fourth cycle Projects

Updated research areas place strong focus on innovation, emerging technologies.

The National Center of Meteorology Announces Targeted Research Areas for the UAE Rain Enhancement Program’s fourth cycle Projects

Abu Dhabi-UAE: The National Center of Meteorology (NCM) today 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.

Identified by a team of prominent international experts and scientists in atmospheric research and technologies, the updated research areas complement the existing ones and build on the program’s previous work. These areas were selected during the 4th cycle UAEREP solicitation workshop, based on the outputs of the nine research projects awarded between 2015 and 2017, the 4th International Rain Enhancement Forum and the recommendations from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) expert meeting held in Geneva and the 4th cycle program solicitation workshop.

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

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.”

For her part, Alya Al Mazroui, Director of the UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “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.”

Alya added: “Innovation is key to paving the way for further development of rain enhancement science. Through our close collaboration with our partners from leading international universities and research institutions, UAEREP will continue to identify high-impact research opportunities to find transformative solutions to global water-stress issues. We are confident that the new direction set out by the solicitation document will help our scientists deliver better outcomes through their research projects.”

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. 

In parallel, the program will continue to support previously targeted areas to help the awardees  fulfill the objectives of their projects. Information about on-going projects funded by the program and their research areas can be found on the program website at www.uaerep.ae. 

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 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. 

Managed by National Center of Meteorology (NCM), the program aims to promote fundamental scientific understanding of rain enhancement as well as stimulate the development and deployment of rain enhancement technologies.