Dubai Future Accelerator (DFA) has concluded the first session of its accelerator program, and marked the milestone with an allocation of over AED120 million (US$33.5 million) to the 19 projects part of the program collaborating with key government entities. These 19 projects move on to the next phase and will work to implement their solutions within seven key sectors: health, education, energy, transportation, infrastructure, technology, and security. According to a statement on the event, DFA expects the pilot projects to create 135 job opportunities in Dubai over the next three months and also revealed that fourteen of the international companies part of the program have taken decisions to relocate their headquarters to Dubai.
H.E. Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, and MD of Dubai Future Foundation, revealed at the event that DFA’s second round will see five new government and private entities join the program- Department of Economic Development, Dubai Smart City, the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, du, and Etisalat. Saif Al Aleeli, CEO, Dubai Future Foundation, pointed out that the first round of DFA has managed to achieve “an unprecedented success rate” of 64%, and on an average, “the rate seldom exceeds 30%.” He also added that the first round of the program is said to have increased Dubai’s total spend on research and development efforts by 6% in three months. DFA was launched in September, and the program paired 28 global companies with Dubai’s seven founding entities: Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), and Dubai Holding. As per a Medium post by DFA, the accelerator’s second round is set to begin in the first quarter 2017, with applications opening in December 2016.
A few of the companies graduating from DFA:
- Hyperloop One and Dubai RTA are set to work on a feasibility study for a system that reduces travel time between Abu Dhabi and Dubai in 12 minutes
- Ecoisme is working on deploying artificial intelligence systems around Dubai to monitor and reduce electricity consumption along with DEWA
- Consensys is working to develop a real estate database using Blockchain technology
- UAE-based startup Grow is working on a prototype for a farm that reduces the need for water and fertilizers
- Comae Technologies is working with Dubai Police to employ artificial intelligence technology to prevent and solve cybercrimes
- Startup Medativ uses 3D printing technology to produce replicas of human organs and thus aid in surgical training