Sharjah24: For Gulf countries, where water is a scarce resource, measures like conserving and recycling water are of paramount importance. The search for innovative solutions in this field is ongoing and new technologies are being invented to overcome this challenge.
Sharjah Research, Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), which offers a vibrant ecosystem for inventing and incubating innovative solutions to diverse problems, has been highly active in supporting projects and innovations in this field. It thrives on creating solutions from scratch, from concept to reality, in collaboration with like-minded partners.
It is this single-minded commitment to see a project through that separates SRTI Park from other incubation destinations. One classic example is the conception and execution of the state-of-the-art R&D facility and wastewater treatment plant currently nearing completion next to the Park in a project that is being built by master developer Arada.
Arada and SRTI Park collaboration
It was in March 2021, that a historic agreement was signed between SRTI Park and Arada , along with partners Biopolus and Metito, to bring next-generation sustainable water treatment technology to the UAE through a path-breaking environmentally friendly biological engineering process that can help resolve water scarcity. The long-term goal was to turn Sharjah into a global hub of this ground-breaking technology, and produce improved versions for installation locally and across the region.
Arada has invested in this major new R&D facility in Sharjah, bringing a new form of sustainable water treatment to the UAE, and the wider Middle East, for the first time. With the proactive involvement of SRTI Park, the project is powered by Hungarian water tech firm Biopolus and executed by Metito, a leading global provider of water management solutions, with the goal of developing upgraded versions of the existing Biopolus technology (Biopolus 2.0), allowing them to be patented, tested and integrated within projects in Sharjah.
Metito is a global leader provider of smart water management solutions operating through its founding principles of impact, sustainability, and innovation.
Now in its final phase of construction, the wastewater treatment plant and the R&D facility are designed to serve as a living, learning laboratory that can serve as an inspiring and innovative space for students and researchers to study ecological engineering and circular economy principles in a practical and hands-on manner.
Hussein Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park says: “Effective water recycling is of crucial importance, especially in a part of the world where water scarcity is such a critical issue. As a forward-looking technology park, SRTIP specialises in creating projects from the ground up. This project, created in collaboration with Arada, is a perfect demonstration of that focused approach, to create something innovative and life-changing. Thanks to the path-breaking Biopolus technology, through this plant we offer more effective ways of wastewater treatment as well as recycling, setting a new benchmark in the region. Additionally, the R&D Centre seeks to upgrade and localize the technology, opening up avenues for replication of this model at different parts of the country and the region.”
The SRTI Park ecosystem of new-age innovations is the ideal location for such a project. The water treatment plant uses unique technology that eliminates many of the challenges faced by conventional plants. The water treatment plant will treat, recycle and produce treated water that will be used for irrigation of landscapes in both Aljada and SRTI Park, as trees and green landscaping play a central role in all of Arada’s communities and at SRTI Park.
Ahmed Alkhoshaibi, Group CEO of Arada, said: “With UAE putting sustainability at the core of the national economic agenda, we are proud to take leadership in the private sector in committing to introduce greener and more sustainable technologies and processes wherever possible. This partnership is in line with one of Arada’s key goals: to be a leader in the field of sustainable development. Trees and green landscaping play a central role in all of Arada’s communities, and it’s vital that these areas can be nourished in a sustainable and environmentally friendly manner.”
Ahmed Hayajneh- Metito Overseas Limited General Manager UAE and Oman,said Metito proudly stands as a major supporter and contributor to innovation in research and technology, particularly in advancing sustainable water treatment solutions. Our partnership with SRTI Park, Arada, and Biopolus exemplifies our commitment to pioneering advancements in addressing water scarcity challenges through cutting-edge treatments”
The plant will use the Biopolus Metabolic Network Reactor (MNR) technology, a biological engineering process that mimics natural processes by using artificial root structures containing microbial biofilms to clean water rapidly, efficiently, sustainably and without the use of chemicals.
The Biopolus team specializes in designing thriving and beautiful living systems to recycle water, combining nature’s forces and human intelligence. The new facilities in Sharjah will not just demonstrate the full potential of this technology in a challenging climate but create the infrastructure and the partnership ecosystem for a significant impact on a global scale.
Modular and odour-free
The new technology offers many unique features. The plant design is odour-free and modular & flexible nature of the Biopolus technology ensures that each plant can be placed directly in any urban environment and can be designed in an attractive manner that blends in with its surroundings. As a result, the first plant in the Middle East is based on a 9,900 square metre plot is characterised by its unique architecture and green and leafy exterior.
The first phase will have the capacity to recycle 5,500 cubic meter of water a day, with two further phases providing the overall capacity to recycle 16,500 cubic meters a day. Further plants are also planned to serve Arada’s other projects. Over the long term, Arada and its partners hope to integrate a number of other processes into the Sharjah plant, including recycling, community functions and energy recovery technologies, helping it to become a local hub for the urban circular economy.
“The setting up of the new wastewater treatment plant and the R&D Centre as a joint project between SRTI Park and Arada is just one example of the kind of innovative projects going on in this vibrant ecosystem of world-class startups and world-changing ideas. SRTI Park constantly challenges itself to follow its vision of masterminding and executive projects that will make the world greener and cleaner,” said Al Mahmoudi.
February 12, 2024 / 5:02 PM
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