Sharjah24: On the UAE’s 49th National Day, the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park) is proud to announce the opening of its state-of-the-art headquarters that was recently inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohamed Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah.
Designed according to the best practices and highest international standards in modern technology parks, SRTI Park provides an environment conducive to creativity and innovation with its world-class infrastructure and services. The innovation ecosystem within the Park promotes Research and Development (R&D) and supports enterprise activities with triple helix collaboration among the industry, government, and academia.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park, shed light on SRTI’s most prominent accomplishments, its future plans, the regional and international companies at SRTI Park, and their research projects that provide solutions and innovations in various fields.
Open Innovation Lab
Strategically nestled in the heart of SRTI Park and surrounded by leading universities is Sharjah Open Innovation Lab (SoiLAB). Launched as the first incubator for start-ups and innovative business, SoiLAB promotes innovative ideas that will bring technical advancement and entrepreneurship to the highest international levels in Sharjah. SoiLAB is a membership based technical centre and collaborative workspace designed for learning, making, experimenting and innovation. The space is open to students, artists, entrepreneurs and tech enthusiasts and provides access to a diverse range of equipment from 3D Printers to metal and wood working machinery and caters for individual and collaborative efforts.
Largest 3D printing exhibition
The biggest 3D printing exhibition in the Middle East is also located at SRTI Park. Aside from the exhibition, there is also webinar series featuring Middle East’s 3D industry leaders talking about accelerating innovation in 3D technologies. Additive manufacturing, or 3D printing has significantly evolved over the past years and so too have the innovations that resulted from developments in the technology.
Inside SRTI Park is Immensa, a leading additive manufacturing specialist company that provides trunkey solutions to clients, which include assessment, consulting, design and development, and production of parts on demand. The company has also developed industrial and mechanical applications for customers across various sectors, including defence, oil and gas, aviation, medical, and transportation
Skypods and autonomous driving
A 2.5-km-long suspended track is being completed at SRTI Park by Belarus engineering company SkyWay GreenTech. The construction of the hanging rail will pave the way for the development, testing and certification of the suspended transport system before it is marketed on a global scale. SkyWay Project is part of the comprehensive plan aimed at transforming the city of Sharjah into a sustainable futuristic city as skypods can solve transport problems of big cities by creating high-rise building networks, where they can move above ground using hanging rails.
Another cutting-edge company at SRTI Park is Netherlands-based 2GetThere, which is part of the ZF Group, has begun the pilot phase of its autonomous vehicle operation as part of a strategic development project to build an integrated smart transport system, introduce smart self-driving mobility, and test autonomous transport technologies. The sustainable transport project reflects the keenness of 2GetThere and SRTIP to boost the innovation ecosystem; promote scientific research, develop local knowledge and support future technologies.
Sustainable food production
Also located inside SRTI Park is Merlin Agrotunnel, an aquaponics farm with an area of around 150 square metres that can produce over one ton of organic vegetables and fruits every month. Aquaponics is a form of agriculture that combines raising fish in tanks with soil-less plant culture (hydroponics). The nutrient-rich water from raising fish provides a natural fertiliser for the plants and the plants help to purify the water for the fish. The Agrotunnel can work in any environment and weather condition – even in the middle of the desert. It uses advanced cooling technologies that can work on solar energy and can harvest water from sea or air.
Civil Twin Renewable Middle East is a consultancy company working in the renewable energy industry. It is working on improving the photovoltaic industry by creating, testing and installing new solutions to renewable solar energy. Civil Twin Civil Twin is expanding its reach in the region by spreading the message of sustainable resources and empowering the future with Earth-friendly source of energy.
SRTI Park has played an important role in combatting the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. Nabta Women’s Health, one of the companies operating within the SRTI Park, has made an innovation that contributed in improving primary health care. It has also worked on testing a novel stabilising method for blood, plasma, RNA and DNA at high temperatures for the study of COVID-19. Nabta is at the forefront in women’s health as well as prevention and management of non-communicable diseases.
Meanwhile, VirtuE R&D is a world-class Spanish company specialising in the development of AI application for psychology. The company has a scientific research center working on the development of game-based digital programs, utilising AI technologies to promote a more self-conscious society. It is also developing a proprietary vehicle-based software wit wide-ranging therapeutic applications.
There is also Exoskeleton that is working on the design and development of novel smart assistive exoskeletons for the rehabilitation of stroke patients. While the cost of the technology itself might be higher than available methods, learning to walk and walking again is definitely priceless. Exoskeleton is using AI and Robotics that will lead to a dramatic improvement in the quality of life.
du (Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company), has a strategic agreement with Nokia and SRTIP to develop a range of innovative smart city initiatives for the Emirate of Sharjah. Under the agreement, du, Nokia, and SRTIP are undertaking a series of proof of concepts and innovations to enhance Sharjah’s strategic digital transformation. This includes driving the capacity build up in locally developing 5G Use Cases as well as working jointly on developing a local Proof of Concept for Internet of Things (IoT), smart cities, 5G use cases based on a Luxturrim5G ecosystem powered by Nokia Bell Labs in SRTIP premises.