urban.MASS and University of Birmingham Dubai ink collaboration agreement during COP28 to kickstart the revolution in sustainable mass transit


  • In a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), urban.MASS and University of Birmingham Dubai have agreed to collaborate on research and education in the field of sustainable, multi-modal mass transit systems.
  • The MoU was signed during COP28, in the RTA T-R-I-P pavilion, in the presence of Mark Harper, the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport.
  • MASS is a technology and mobility company specialising in the design and development of scalable, zero-emission mass-transit solutions.

December 6 – Dubai, UAE. COP28 has seen the signing of many agreements critical to the next generation of transport and transport systems around the world. Today, an MoU between urban.MASS and University of Birmingham Dubai has ensured that the UK will play its role in this sustainable future.

The agreement will see urban.MASS and University of Birmingham Dubai collaborate on research into integrated multi-modal mass transit systems, urban planning, sustainable transport and renewable energy systems – amongst other key areas – to enhance our understanding of the transformative potential of cutting-edge mass transit technology in fostering economic growth and environmental sustainability on a global scale.

Additionally, the partnership will extend to the joint development and implementation of educational programs, dedicated to cultivating the skills and insights of the upcoming generation of transportation innovators.

Also supporting the signing was Mark Harper, the UK’s Secretary of State for Transport, alongside the latest scale 1:8 model of urban.MASS’ ‘Floc-pod’ and a new visualisation of the company’s proposed Dubai transport system. The announcement follows the news earlier this year that the UK and UAE governments signed an MoU to help facilitate the sharing of technical knowledge, advice, skills and expertise, opening up new avenues for cooperation on energy and climate.

Transport Secretary, Mark Harper, said: “As the birthplace of the railway, the UK has long been at the forefront of transport innovation. This agreement between urban.MASS and University of Birmingham Dubai will ensure that such innovation is maintained into the future, enabling people to travel how they want, when they want.”

The signing took place in the Road and Transport Authority Transport Research Innovation Pavilion during COP28, hosted by University of Birmingham Dubai – an institution with a close working relationship with the United Arab Emirates’ Road and Transport Authority.

Ricky Sandhu, Co-Founder and Chairman of urban.MASS added: “With almost 60 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere – 70% of which comes from cities – we need new, disruptive transport technologies that can dramatically reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere and reverse the effects of the last 100 years. Having been born in Birmingham myself, I’m so excited to showcase the potential of both our technology and my city in delivering the future of sustainable mass-transit to the world.”  

Professor David Sadler, Provost, University of Birmingham Dubai commented: “We are excited to be collaborating with urban.MASS and the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority on this innovative transport system. The university is a world-leader in sustainable transport systems and this partnership will build an exchange of knowledge and talent in areas including renewable energy and sustainable transport as well as a pipeline of talent and training for the UAE, through scholarships, funded research and the development of new academic programmes. This systemic approach to supporting the UAE’s integrated transport strategy will undoubtedly help to develop future policies that support the UAE’s national growth”.

urban.MASS is a technology and mobility company specialising in the design and development of innovative, zero-emission mass-transit systems. The company is developing electric ‘Floc-pods’ for its ‘Duo Rail’ track – providing cities with cost-effective, driverless and on-demand transport systems fit for a new era of urbanisation.

This latest agreement comes shortly in advance of urban.MASS opening its fundraising on the London Stock Exchange Group’s Floww platform, with the company recently having begun work to develop a demonstrator at Shildon, County Durham, alongside further proposed projects in Saudi Arabia and Dubai.

As well as signing this MoU, Ricky Sandhu was also invited by the Ukrainian Government to support the Ukraine Business Compact in an advisory role with regard to the rebuilding of the country. He took part in a panel discussion on “Security Critical Infrastructure for a Sustainable Society” at COP28, Dubai Expo City.

About urban.MASS

urban.MASS is a UK-based mobility business focused on the design and delivery of innovative, zero-emission mass transit solutions. The business was founded to create affordable, accessible and connected mass transit for all, and to reduce congestion and pollution from passenger and cargo transport.

Products include the Floc® Duo Rail® system, a flexible transit system that can match capacity with demand via high frequency ‘platoons’ of passenger and/or cargo logistics pods. Its narrow and flexible footprint minimises the need for earthworks, costly tunnels and large stations. 


About University of Birmingham Dubai

The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions, its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham and Dubai, including researchers and teachers and more than 8,000 international students from over 150 countries.