American tech giant Microsoft has brought its center of excellence for energy – known as ‘Microsoft Energy Core’ in the UAE. The initiative and facility strive to stimulate digital transformation; establish coalitions for responsible innovation, and push skilling initiatives in the energy sector. The center will also benefit to provide towards the environmental sustainability of the industry, a key element of the company’s global dedication towards climate innovation.
The virtual launch function was attended by His Excellency Omar Sultan Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, and Samer Abu Ltaif, President for Microsoft Middle East and Africa, along with numerous industry clients and associates.
“The UAE has always been at the forefront of innovation, with our ambition to become a role model for the world,” said His Excellency, Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence. “The UAE National Strategy for Artificial Intelligence sits at the heart of it, and our partnership with Microsoft contributes to this effort. The Energy Core will accelerate our collaboration to focus on sectors such as the energy industry – to enable digital transformation, and address core areas such as increasing efficiency, environmental sustainability and policymaking in the region – leading to a positive future for generations to come.
“As we continue empowering people and businesses to achieve more, we do so with a firm commitment to building a more sustainable future. The energy industry faces significant challenges, and the Microsoft Energy Core brings effective coalitions and leverages AI in an endeavor to address them. We are encouraged by the growing number of energy companies’ commitments towards transitioning to cleaner energy and lowering carbon emissions, but they cannot do it alone. Businesses, governments and civil society can rise to the challenge while meeting the world’s growing energy demands.”
Begun in association with 10 founding associates including ABB, Accenture, AVEVA, BakerHughesC3.ai, Emerson, Honeywell, Maana, Rockwell Automation, Schlumberger, and Sensia – Microsoft Energy Core covers four pillars:
The first is enabling digital transformation, where Microsoft and its associates will build digital innovation capacities by forming a world-class energy executive briefing, and solutions development center. Second, through building coalitions with energy operators, power & utility organizations, renewable energy companies, academic institutions, and industry bodies, the Energy Core seeks strategic collaborations by a vibrant industry board that drives thought leadership for responsible innovation, across the energy value chain.
Closing the skills gap and enhancing employability is the third pillar of the Energy Core, enabling energy industry professionals to initiate their organizations’ digital transformation agendas by skilling and reskilling for digital readiness. The Energy Core is launching an AI Academy as a building block to equip the industry workforce with the necessary AI skills. This stretches to undergraduate and post-graduate students as well, to prepare a future-ready workforce.
And fourth, as part of Microsoft’s global involvement, the facility will focus on sustainability and societal impact, by actively seeking the development of innovative solutions built on AI to resolve the most urgent challenges of the energy industry. Microsoft has pledged to ambitious environmental sustainability goals; by 2030 – Microsoft will be carbon negative, and by 2050 the company will remove all the carbon it has released since it was founded in 1975. Moreover, 100% of the energy for the carbon-emitting electricity consumed by its data centers, buildings and campuses will move to renewable energy by 2025. Microsoft is also supporting customers to reduce their carbon footprints and co-innovating to develop low-carbon solutions, and it continues to invest in programs like AI for Earth, which puts AI in the hands of those working to solve global environmental challenges.
“The Microsoft Energy Core is part of our unwavering commitment towards capacity-building, empowering innovation, and driving prosperity and growth. Together, with our customers and partners, we will reshape the future of the energy industry and drive a positive impact in our communities,” appended Mr. Ltaif.