NEEDS was one of the main sponsors of the conference and the Annual Meeting of the Arab Academy of Sciences, which was attended by 56 delegates 26 invited talks from the Middle East and North Africa, Europe and North America. The conference began with a welcome address by, Prof. Elias Baydoun, the conference organizer, and a very inspiration Presidential address by His Excellency Prof. Adnan Badran, the President of the Arab Academy of Sciences. The conference had three targeted sessions in the areas of "Innovative Water Treatment Technologies for the Arab World", "Alternate and Efficient Energy Systems for the Arab Middle East", and "Environmental Remediation Strategies". A panel discussion on "Smart Grids" followed the main technical sessions. The technical sessions included of two Keynote talks on Alternate Energy (Geothermal Energy, Alternate Solid Fuels), and a Keynote talk on Educational Programs on Sustainable Energy and Entrepreneurship.
The panel session on, "Smart Grids" had participants from both academia and industry and included a lively discussion on electricity conservation by minimizing both technical and nontechnical losses in the electric grid, especially in the Arab Countries. Dr. Mounir Yehia, Chairman of NEEDS chaired this session and presented the Lebanese Electric Utility Transformation through the Distribution Service Provider (DSP) project, actually implemented at the national level. Two of the three DSP's, Butec Utility Services (BUS) and National Electrical Utility Company (NEUC), which sponsored also the organization of this session, contributed with an overview-presentation of the DSP project progress in their respective service areas.