Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi
Al Reem Island, Abu Dhabi Kamil Rogalinski/Unsplash

UAE Research Program for Rain Enhancement Science (UAEREP) announced three winners in its fifth cycle grant awards ceremony held at Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.

The winners, who will receive grants of up to $1.5 million each, include a group of scientists from the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), a team from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a group of researchers from Michigan Technological University.

The grants, which were announced under the patronage of Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Vice President, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Presidential Court, will be distributed over a period of three years to facilitate the projects' transition from theory to practice.

Talking about the projects, a group of scientists from TII made laser-based rain-triggering demonstrators with remote sensing technology, while a team from Hebrew University of Jerusalem developed the identification of clouds' microphysical seedability in an actionable manner.

In addition, researchers from Michigan Technological University were awarded for their work on laboratory and modeling studies of cloud susceptibility to hygroscopic seeding.

During the program's fifth edition of the awards ceremony, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Mariam Almheiri delivered a speech on behalf of Al Nahyan.

"This program serves as an authentic example of the UAE's dedication to investing in scientific research and advanced technology to achieve water and food security, as well as environmental sustainability, on local, regional, and global scales," she said, WAM reported.

"It has ushered in new beginnings for a technology that received limited attention in the latter half of the twentieth century. Furthermore, the program has expanded horizons for researchers in this field and offered them greater opportunities to contribute to alleviating water scarcity worldwide," she added.

Dr. Abdulla Al Mandous, Director-General of the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) and President of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) noted that this award cycle shows the UAE's commitment to addressing climate change issues highlighted during last year's COP28 event.

While congratulating the winners, Al Mandous assured them the continued support of NCM, which manages the UAEREP, for their progressive research on cloud and rainfall enhancement technology on a global scale, paving the way for a more sustainable future.

In addition, Alya Al Mazroui , Director of UAEREP, stated that the growing water scarcity challenges are a global issue, calling this platform and funding vital.

"By providing a platform and funding for a global research community in rain enhancement, UAEREP continues to serve as a hub for the international interchange of scientific growth and innovation," she said.