Abu Dhabi: The UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science have invited researchers, scientists and technologists around the world to submit their pre-proposals by March 16.

From this third cycle, the programme’s $5 million (Dh18.35 million) grant will be shared by up to five winning research proposals selected through a two-stage merit review decision process.

Applicants must submit their research project through the programme portal (https://e.uaerep.ae/). The application material can be downloaded in PDF format from the website and completed directly online.

Alya Al Mazroui, manager of the UAE Research Programme for Rain Enhancement Science, said: “With a total of $5 million in grant funding available, we are calling on scientists and technologists around the world to join us in advancing rain enhancement research and innovation. Through its achievements to date, our programme is already having a significant ripple effect, directly increasing the level of research and action in the vital area of rain enhancement around the world.”

The programme is seeking new methods to measure and predict the effectiveness of cloud seeding, and to develop new technologies and applications for fresh water augmentation.

This innovative initiative of the UAE is designed to attract diverse scientists and technologists to complement existing work that has already been carried out on remote sensing technology, data collection and analysis, studies of aerosol-cloud interactions, analysis of cloud dynamics and physics, balloons and unmanned aerial vehicles, laser technology, nanotechnology, and simulation and modelling applications.

In its second cycle, the programme received 91 pre-proposals, representing 398 scientists and researchers affiliated to 180 institutes distributed across 45 countries. This year, more than 180 letters of intent expressing interest in the programme’s third cycle have already been submitted, from more than 50 countries, a 20 per cent increase since last year.

Once the pre-proposal deadline has passed, the submissions will be evaluated by an international reviewers committee. The winning proposals will be announced in January 2018. Up to five projects will be selected to go forward, and each will receive a share of the $5 million grant in project funding, which will be disbursed over a three-year period.

Successful awardees are already carrying out groundbreaking work on innovative algorithms, nanotechnology to accelerate water condensation and land cover modification to enhance precipitation. Further projects will commence this year on ice production processes in cumulus clouds, on the role of atmospheric aerosols in precipitation enhancement, and an investigation to measure and potentially modify the electrical properties of clouds.