RAK Research & Innovation Center (RAKRIC)
Dr. Mohamed al Zarooni, Associate Provost for Research and Community Service, Associate Professor - Chemical Engineering at AURAK. Image Credit: Supplied

Global climate tech platform The Surpluss has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with RAK Research & Innovation Center (RAKRIC), which is part of the American University of Ras Al Khaimah (AURAK). The collaborative agreement marks the first of its kind between a circular economy platform and an academic research organization to build sustainable development solutions in the UAE that respond to a need for industrial climate action with a commercial benefit.

The partnership aims to develop high-performing industrial symbiosis networks in Ras Al Khaimah and beyond, initially targeting resource-intensive industries. Belonging to these networks will enable manufacturing companies to create powerful synergies to share resources, eradicate waste, and adopt a holistic approach to sustainability. They will also have access to high-level knowledge sharing and education through seminar sessions featuring internationally renowned facilitators.

The Surpluss founder Rana Hajirasouli explains: “Industrial symbiosis has historically shown to be a strong model of sustainability with a clear financial case. We are delighted to work closely with our partners at RAK Innovation Center to bridge the academic-practitioner divide in developing the first industrial symbiosis network in the UAE amongst resource-intensive industries.

“With our digital offering, we hope to increase the collaboration of private entities across Emirates and value chains, capturing value and contributing to a circular economy with a lasting impact. By simplifying collaboration, we aim to provide fertile ground for developing more sophisticated infrastructure for adopting industrial symbiosis, showcasing the potential of the UAE as a hub for sustainable development.

“I am also delighted to confirm the support of Dr. Per Moller who joins us as Head of The Surpluss Advisory Board. Dr. Moller was critical in developing Kalundborg’s landmark symbiosis in Denmark. We hope to see such developments in the UAE in the coming years; this collaboration provides the foundation for that as the first of its kind in our region, contributing to cross-cutting solutions for water, energy, materials, and waste efficiency.”

Dr. Per Moller, Head of The Surpluss Advisory Board, Director of GIS Nordic and Senior Symbiosis Developer at Kalundborg Symbiosis, Denmark, added: “Industrial symbiosis represents a sustainable value proposition that delivers on the economic, environmental, social and societal aspects. It's a win-win where we can produce more with less while doing good. However, to have local synergies create a global impact, we need to develop platforms and establish trust-based partnerships where we share and advance the necessary capacities and synergies to maximize the value proposition.

“In my capacity as a facilitator and developer of agri-urban-industrial symbiosis, I am dedicated to this work with a mission is to help realize industrial symbiosis on a global scale. This is why I support what The Surpluss is doing and I am delighted to see the signing of the MOU with RAK Research & Innovation Center in the UAE. I am looking forward to supporting this initiative in whatever capacity I can.”

Dr Mohamed al Zarooni, Associate Provost for Research and Community Service, Associate Professor - Chemical Engineering at AURAK said: "I am pleased to foster this partnership with The Surpluss. Our shared commitment to industrial symbiosis aligns with the UAE's vision for circular economy and sustainable development. Having one of the largest manufacturing bases in UAE, we believe RAK serves as an excellent hub for symbiosis. Through RAKRIC, we aim to facilitate resource-efficient networks, stimulate knowledge-sharing, and drive circular-thinking solutions in Ras Al Khaimah and beyond, ultimately strengthening the UAE's position as a global hub for sustainable innovation."

Dr Uday, Director of RAKRIC concluded: “We specialize in renewable energy and water technologies and have embarked on a mission to promote sustainability literacy amongst various regional stakeholders. Working with large industry, we envision empowering organizations with innovative, nature-inspired strategies that foster resource optimization, waste reduction and responsible growth. Our commitment includes assisting various entities in reducing their ecological footprint through sustainability gap analysis, zero waste certification, industrial synergy facilitation, systems-thinking adoption and circular innovation.”

Companies interested in participating in this landmark initiative and demonstrating their commitment to sustainability can register at: www.thesurpluss.com or email rana@thesurpluss.com.