We first reported that GE had partnered with the Mabadala Development Company, the government-sponsored initiative behind Masdar City, back in 2010.
At the time, a lot of people were very critical of Masdar because they failed to live up to their original marketing plan, which was to become the world’s first zero carbon city. But GE, which ranked among the Fortune 500 as the 26th-largest firm in the U.S. by gross revenue in 2011 (thanks Wikipedia), obviously saw value in the initiative’s long term goals.
The new 840 square meter hub located in Masdar City’s incubator building – the city’s first commercial property – is designed not only to showcase existing innovations that result in more efficient use of energy and water, but also to foster even further discussion and innovation.
Customers, think tanks, universities and industry leaders are all invited to visit the new Ecomagination Center to offer their insight. The more minds committed to reducing resource demands in dense urban environments the better.
It’s no coincidence that the center has been established at Masdar City, which is very quickly becoming one of the most interesting and successful experiments in sustainable development.
“Masdar City is setting a global benchmark in resource efficiency through its use of innovative design practices and technologies,” said HE Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and CEO of Masdar in a recent press release.
He added that GE is among the key companies who will help to nurture and promote clean technology at Masdar.
“Masdar City is on a journey to build the world’s most sustainable city,” added Dr. Al Jaber. “The addition of GE is an important milestone in our growth, as we expand and incorporate a diverse mix of tenants. Today, Masdar is a sustainable operation, combining multinational companies, organizations, startups and the amenities that make up a diverse urban community.”
Having firmly established itself abroad with groundbreaking renewable energy projects in London, Mauritania, the Seychelles and elsewhere, Masdar has a big year ahead back at home.
Throughout 2014, a total of 60 companies are expected to establish a base in the Incubator Building alongside GE, and construction of Masdar’s new super green headquarters should be complete this year as well. Abu Dhabi has come a long way as a leader in all things green, and it has carefully enlisted influential multinational companies like GE in order to help achieve their goals.
Deb Frodl, GE’s global executive director of ecomagination, explained: “The GE ecomagination Center in Abu Dhabi reflects the growing importance that the UAE places in promoting sustainable growth. It will encourage businesses, the community and NGOs to work together to address the sustainability challenges of our time.”