United Arab Emirates: Emirates Global Aluminium, the largest industrial company in the United Arab Emirates outside oil and gas, has won the award for “Most Inventive Research Centre” at the Technology Innovation Pioneers Summit, organised by the UAE Ministry of Economy and the Department of Economic Development Abu Dhabi.
EGA Vice President of Technology Development and Transfer, Abdalla Al Zarooni, accepted the award on behalf of the company.
The award recognises EGA for its work developing, patenting and exporting technology, and the company’s long-standing cooperation with Takamul, the UAE innovation programme developed and operated by the Abu Dhabi Technology Development Committee.
EGA has developed its own industrial technology in the UAE for more than 25 years. EGA has used its own technology in every smelter expansion since the 1990s and has retrofitted all its older production lines.
In 2016, EGA became the first UAE industrial company to export its core process technology in a licensing agreement with Aluminium Bahrain. The technology transfer project was completed in December, with EGA’s DX+ Ultra technology performing even better than the company’s performance guarantees.
Historically, EGA relied on secrecy to protect its innovations, since they were for use only within the company’s own sites. In 2013 EGA began a programme of patent applications for its most important innovations and a year later began working closely with Takamul.
To date, EGA has filed 31 patent applications with 17 submitted to Takamul for their support.
EGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Abdulnasser Bin Kalban, said: “EGA is honoured to be recognised today for our decades-long commitment to innovation and we are grateful for the support of innovative partners like Takamul. Technology development has been a foundation of our commercial success at EGA, enabling us to continually improve the energy efficiency of our production and now also generate revenue from technology sales. We are pleased that our technology work also contributes to the UAE leadership’s vision of a knowledge-based economy, fuelled by innovation, science, research and technology.”
Some 50 dedicated engineers and technologists lead technology development at EGA. The company also works closely with local and international universities to combine the latest scientific thinking with EGA’s decades of experience in aluminium smelting.
EGA’s research partnerships in the UAE include Masdar Institute, the American University of Sharjah, and Higher Colleges of Technology, contributing to the development of local academic institutions.
Internationally EGA partners with the University of Auckland, the University of New South Wales, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.