According to a press release, several Fraunhofer institutes have signed a strategic partnership agreement with the Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company – representing the Masdar City Project – that aims to embark on a collaborative deal to establish renewable energy projects for the region. The ecocity planned for the United Arab Emirates will be located on an area of about three square miles, approximately 20 miles east of Abu Dhabi, and is being designed to be a carbon-neutral city, powered entirely by renewable energy sources.

Acting as partners in the agreement are the Fraunhofer Institutes for Solar Energy Systems (ISE), Industrial Engineering (IAO) and Building Physics (IBP). Each of the institutes will send a representative to form a project group in Masdar City, and will set about planning project acquisitions and taking the first steps toward founding a center for the effort.

One of the goals is to also establish a joint institute for sustainable urban development in cooperation with the new Masdar Institute of Science and Technology, an institution that Abu Dhabi officials say they are modeling on MIT.

“Our mission is to accelerate innovation in clean and renewable technologies and make these available and affordable on a global scale,” said Masdar CEO Sultan Al Jaber in a news release. “We believe global collaboration is essential to achieving this mission and our partnerships with MIT, DLR, Imperial College and the Tokyo Institute of Technology are proof of this. The collaboration with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft will also ensure Masdar plays a key role in the development of Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy sector; driving continual innovation and commercialization of clean and sustainable energy technologies.”

Fraunhofer ISE is currently working with Masdar on various solar climatization and solar-thermal projects. Three spin-off companies of ISE, Mirroxx, Concentrix Solar and Solar Spring, have expressed an interest in involvement with the Masdar project.