Innovators Invited: AED1 Billion Allocated For Dubai Future Accelerators Program

Besides an opportunity for startups to work closely with industry leaders and government partners, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai also announced an investment of AED1billion to the program.

Dubai Media Office
A 3D printed Building in Dubai.

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Keeping up with its ambitions to promote a digital society and engage citizens to help build its future urban environments, the Dubai Government has unveiled the Dubai Future Accelerators program to connect global companies and entrepreneurs to various government entities to address seven key "future challenges." Launching the program, H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman, Dubai Executive Council, said in a statement that the objective is "to transform the city of Dubai into a global test bed for leading ideas and technologies." Besides offering an opportunity for startups to work closely with industry leaders and government partners, H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai also announced an investment of AED1 billion into the program. According to a statement, Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai Holding will both invest the amount over the course of five years in projects and companies, which are successful in passing the Accelerators program and solving their respective challenges.

As per information hosted in the website, though termed an accelerator, the initiative does not operate as one. "This is not about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup," clarifies the website. Instead, it is about incorporating technologies into what has been identified as "21st century opportunities." The goal of the 12-week program is to identify "futuristic" prototypes or products and deploy them on a city-wide scale. How does the accelerator achieve that? As the first step, proposals are invited from entrepreneurs and companies, who have working prototypes to help solve key challenges put down by the following seven bodies: Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Knowledge and Human Development Authority, Dubai Holding, and Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

Selected innovators will then be flown to Dubai, provided workspaces in the Accelerator's facility in Emirates Towers (Dubai), and given access to the prototyping lab. Based on a final pitch session, promising solutions will then be selected for implementation and commercial development. Talking about the investment set aside for the project, H.E. Mohammed Al Gergawi, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, and Chairman of Dubai Holding says that it will help "attract global entrepreneurship to the UAE and stimulate innovation, research and development." "Dubai Future Accelerators also aims to instill a new investment culture in the region, and provide an opportunity for investors to diversify their portfolios in new innovation-led field, on top of the traditional sectors, such as banks and real estate," he adds.

Interested startups and companies can apply with their proposals at Hurry up as the application process closes on August 10, 2016.

The Seven "Future Challenges" Of The Program

Future Challenges of the program. Image credit: Dubai Media Office.

Roads and Transport Authority: Automated transportation systems that cut congestion by 20% and reduce CO2 emissions by 30% across all modes.

Dubai Police: Accurate and efficient systems to identify, track and share information on criminals.

Dubai Municipality: Automated, recycled, and nature-inspired building systems that are energy efficient

Dubai Health Authority: Genetic technology based diagnostic systems

Knowledge and Human Development Authority: Education technology solutions that promote "better learning outcomes."

Dubai Holding: Digital solutions across the hospitality, food and beverage, and real estate sectors

DEWA: Efficient and reduced water and energy consumption

Related: Global Entrepreneurship Support Network 1776 Chooses Dubai For Its First International Campus

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