Complex Made Simple

Dubai rallies world’s most innovative companies to reach future vision

Some of the most innovative companies in the world have been selected to participate in the Dubai Future Accelerator Programme.

2,274 applicants from 72 countries from all seven continents applied for the 12-week programme, but only 30 companies – less than two per cent of applicants – have been chosen.

“Through this initiative, the UAE is seeking to redefine the international role of business accelerators,” said His Excellency Mohammed Al Gergawi, vice-chairman and managing director of Dubai Future Foundation.

“These accelerators will now adhere to the government’s agenda and strategies, and serve as a catalyst for research and development within the most strategic sectors, such as education, health, infrastructure, transportation and energy. They will provide a global platform to develop new and innovative solutions to the most pressing challenges facing society,” HE Al Gergawi added.

He reiterated that the success Dubai has had in pioneering a new generation of business accelerator programmes and the key role the emirate is playing in shaping the future can be attributed to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and the close involvement of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Dubai Future Foundation.

HE Al Gergawi further stressed that the initiative seeks to achieve the targets of Dubai Future Agenda by ensuring sustainability and innovation within the strategic sectors of the UAE. Moreover, it will explore new sectors based on the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, which will create a market worth billions of dollars and revolutionise the business models that we know today.

“Now that we have concluded the selection phase of the Dubai Future Accelerators programme, we can go ahead with the actual testing stage for the innovative solutions in cooperation with the relevant authorities,” explained HE Saif Al Aleeli, CEO of the Dubai Museum of The Future Foundation.

“Following an in-depth study – undertaken with our partners and a group of leading experts – to test the feasibility and effectiveness of each entry’s proposed solutions for the challenges facing the relevant key sectors, we can confidently say that we have selected the most innovative and promising applicants,” HE Al Gergawi added.

Throughout the programme, the companies will work with seven government authorities participating in Dubai Future Accelerators, to develop and test products and solutions for challenges facing key economic and strategic sectors in the cities of the 21st century in the UAE. Solutions can also be applied to other countries in the region and around the globe.

Some of the key sectors involved include: healthcare, education, energy, water, transport, infrastructure, security, safety and technology.

Finalists will also develop solutions in sustainable sectors, such as Hyperloop transport, 3D printing and digital finance.

Some of the most prominent names on the list of finalists include: Hyperloop One, which is developing a high-speed transportation systems; Next Future Transportation, specialising in mass-transit solutions and self-driving vehicles; Concensys, the world’s largest software provider for app developers and Blockchain companies; Construction Robotics, specialising in construction solutions that increase productivity five-fold; and Honeywell, the Fortune 100 company working on developing advanced digital systems for the healthcare sector.

The Dubai Future Accelerators programme comprises three rounds annually, with each round lasting for three months.

Throughout this timeframe, the programme works to attract the world’s best emerging companies to find solutions for challenges – as well as ways to capitalise on economic opportunities – it identifies within strategic economic sectors by creating new technologies.

The programme also provides training sessions for participants to learn about business development and prototyping, and to create pilot projects for the City of Dubai.

Dubai Future Accelerators is an initiative of the Dubai Future Foundation and part of the Waqf’s US$275-million “Future Fund”.