30 January 2013| Articles
IRENA’s ICT applications officer Abrar Hussein (left), chief information officer Ali Nimer, and director for capacity building Hugo Lucas at the Middle East CIO 50 awards ceremony
The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) was recognised for technological excellence and achievement with its partnership programme for renewable energy education. The global intergovernmental agency, which has its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, was among 50 non-profit organisations and private sector companies based in the region to receive the Middle East CIO 50 Award at a ceremony in Dubai on 30 January.
Along with cutting-edge technology use, the award to Ali Nimer, IRENA’s Chief Information Officer, highlighted the success of the IRENA Renewable Energy Learning Partnership (IRELP; www.irelp.org) and growing recognition of renewable energy potential in the Middle East.
“The IT team has been very closely working with the capacity building team, from the development of the initial idea to the state-of-the-art portal that IRELP is today,” said Hugo Lucas, the IRENA director responsible for capacity building programmes.
The award is a regional version of the CIO Awards from International Data Group, a global media, events and research company, recognising innovative, unique uses of information technology. Masdar – an Abu Dhabi-based renewable energy company – and the American University of Sharjah were also among the winners.
IRELP, launched in April 2012, addresses shortages and gaps in renewable energy education and training. Through this programme, IRENA has formed partnerships with more than 15 other organisations, including industry associations, universities, regional centres and policy and advocacy networks to create a one-stop-shop for educational information, with the motto, “Your renewable energy future is just one click away!”
To date, IRELP features more than 800 renewable energy courses and programmes, 100 training manuals or guide-books and 200 webinars. It also displays internship opportunities in the renewable energy sector, critical to the career development of young professionals, and provides free access to lectures delivered by world-renowned renewable energy experts.
The web-based learning partnership programme takes an inclusive approach, allowing anyone to send information or upload relevant materials.