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Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park), a leading incubator for startups in tech, has formed a new partnership with Lightyear, based in the Netherlands. Lightyear 0, the world’s first-ever solar car, is being developed by Lightyear. This collaboration, which will be Lightyear’s first of its kind, will help SRTI Park in the development of sustainable mobility solutions.
To further establish Lightyear’s international presence beyond the Netherlands, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed. It reflects Sharjah’s increasing global importance in enabling sustainable mobility solutions through the Park for development.
Both parties are looking at a variety of options to promote sustainable mobility in the area. This could include setting up Lightyear testing facilities, sales support and service support throughout the region. Lightyear and SRTI Park have an educational component at the companies’ core. They plan to establish university research exchange programs on solar-powered electric vehicles and promote policy initiatives that encourage government incentives for EVs.
Hussain Al Mahmoudi (CEO of SRTI Park) and Lex Hoefsloot (CEO of Lightyear), signed the MoU in The Netherlands. They were accompanied by UAE Minister for Climate Change Change and Environment, HE Mariam bint Mohamed Almheiri, UAE Ambassador to the Netherlands, His Excellency Jamal Al Musharakh and Ambassador of the Netherlands to the UAE His Excellency Lody Embrechts. This was done with the assistance of Sawadi Ventures
Her Excellency Mariam bint Mohammed Almheiri said, “The UAE has created a holistic innovation ecosystem that helps companies develop and scale up trailblazing solutions. Today, it is a hub for top-notch competencies and scientific innovations, particularly those related to clean energy. This complements our nation’s efforts to combat global warming and contribute to collective climate action, and aligns with the UAE Net-Zero by 2050 Strategic Initiative. We are pleased by Lightyear’s decision to set up its first base outside the Netherlands at SRTI Park, and wish the company success in its endeavors.”
CEO of SRTI Park, Hussain Al Mahmoudi said, “This is an exciting moment for the SRTI Park, which was set up to turn Sharjah into a hub for cutting-edge innovation, R&D, higher education and university-level research. We are delighted to add Lightyear to our list of global innovators.”
“Having Lightyear at the SRTI Park boosts the UAE’s position as a nation on the frontline of the transition to sustainable mobility, and, in doing so, contributes to combating climate change through innovative technologies. UAE is already the world’s third-largest producer of solar power, making it the perfect place to test Lightyear’s patented solar technology. We are confident that Lightyear’s presence at SRTI Park will spark interest among all countries in the region to embrace EVs,” Al Mahmoudi added.
Lightyear CEO, Lex Hoefsloot said, “We look forward to collaborating with SRTI Park to further move the needle of innovation in solar electric vehicles. The GCC region is of strategic importance for our company and is a strong growth market for solar electric vehicles.”
SRTI Park is a hub for innovation-driven global companies. They are engaged in R&D in critical sectors like transportation, vertical farming and hydrogen energy among others.
Lightyear began its journey as a winning team in car racing. They became experts on energy efficiency and decided that they would use their knowledge to develop solar car technology. 6 years later, Lightyear 0 has been made and is ready to revolutionize the automotive industry. Lightyear 0 can be used for daily commutes of 35 km and can run for up to 11,000 km per year.
Lightyear’s entry in the electric vehicle market occurs at a moment when it is estimated that the entire EV transition for Europe will cost more than 80 billion euros. Over 50 billion euros will be spent on the infrastructure for charging. Lightyear’s SEV innovations would reduce dependence on charging infrastructure, accelerating EV transition at lower costs.