Abu Dhabi-UAE: 02 April, 2014 — Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an independent, research-driven graduate-level university focused on advanced energy and sustainable technologies, and WMS Metal Industries LLC., a local company that specializes in designing and manufacturing environmental products, today jointly announced a collaboration to develop an interactive recycling bin.
The bin design seeks to encourage recycling by making it less of a chore, and more a form of entertainment. The current development schedule calls for commercial introduction of the bin in the third quarter of 2014, initially targeting the educational and governmental sectors. Widespread use of the bin is planned in the UAE and other countries by the time Dubai Expo 2020 takes place in the UAE.
The innovative integration of the product design process with Masdar Institute’s engineering curriculum is a useful model for industry-university partnerships. Last fall, a group of graduate students in Masdar Institute’s Management of Entrepreneurship course conducted market research, identified desirable product features, and prepared a preliminary business plan for the recycling bin. Using that input, graduate students in a Product Design course are prototyping the new bin for commercial testing by WMS. WMS would then carry forward the product to commercialization.
This sequenced course structure allows Masdar Institute to offer its students a valuable hands-on learning experience working with industry to design a technology product with a potential near-term market. WMS will out-source product development at no charge. In turn, the commercial benefits arising from intellectual property developed as part of the collaboration would be shared.
Mohamed Nassar, Managing Partner of WMS Metal Industries, said: “This product will change the mindset of the general population towards recycling by ensuring they understand the impact recycling has towards the environment in an innovative and interactive way.” WMS is listed as one of the top 100 SMEs in Dubai by the Dubai Government, and is currently ranked Number 7 in innovation.
Professor Dr. Bruce Ferguson, Head of the Institute Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, said: “This innovative collaboration shows a way for industry to reduce the cost and risk of corporate R&D, while the university can increase the relevance and depth of learning by its students.”