Technology Innovation Institute, Virgin Hyperloop Announce R&D Partnership

The Technology Innovation Institute (TII), the dedicated “applied research” pillar of Abu Dhabi’s Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC), and Virgin Hyperloop (VH), today announced their collaboration on research, innovation and localisation of the futuristic transportation method.

The agreement was signed by Faisal Al Bannai, Secretary-General of the ATRC, and Sultan Bin Sulayem, Group Chairman and CEO of DP World and Chairman of Virgin Hyperloop, during a virtual ceremony.

Transporting passengers and goods at speeds exceeding 1,000km/hour, hyperloop is a completely new form of transport with the ambition to become the most sustainable means of mass transportation. Technology Innovation Institute and Virgin Hyperloop will explore research for hyperloop systems on the TII’s premises, including pulsed power and magnetic levitation technologies and material sciences, which are key to developing the next-generation transport system.

The TII has seven initial dedicated research centres in quantum, autonomous robotics, cryptography, advanced materials, digital security, secure systems, and directed energy.

The partnership will involve cooperation between three of the TII’s research centres; Directed Energy Research Centre, Autonomous Robotics Research Centre, and Advanced Materials Research Centre.

Al Bannai said, “As the R&D ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the UAE continues to evolve at a rapid pace, particularly with the formation of the ATRC and TII, we are proud to partner with Virgin Hyperloop to achieve global breakthroughs in transportation, artificial intelligence, and sustainable energy solutions. Advanced technology allows us to progress in every aspect of life and collaborations with industry partners such as Virgin Hyperloop help leverage it for the greater good.”

Bin Sulayem said, “The collaboration between Technology Innovation Institute and Virgin Hyperloop will strengthen the position of the UAE as a global research hub. We are one step closer to ushering in a new era of ultra-fast, sustainable movement of people and goods.”

Virgin Hyperloop’s Managing Director in the Middle East and India, Harj Dhaliwal, who attended the virtual ceremony, said, “Abu Dhabi’s thriving technology sector will provide a perfect location as we look to advance hyperloop technology and foster successful public-private partnerships with key organisations within the ecosystem.”

The partnership not only creates an opportunity for a research hub but also provides Abu Dhabi with a first-mover advantage on a passenger and cargo system. A hyperloop network in the Arabian Gulf region could move up to 45 million passengers per year, powered by solar panels covering the tube.

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