In an initiative of the Federal Government represented by the Ministry of Finance, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, launched "Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation" which is worth AED2 billion.
The fund supports resident individuals and companies (of all sizes) registered in the UAE, provided that they offer unique and innovative ideas whether they be technologies, products, services and processes. Eligible applicants need to have registered their project as intellectual property of the respective individual or company, and the initial stage of the project must already be established. The fund’s operations will be launched officially in the second half of 2016.
Supporting National Innovation Strategy, and achieving the UAE’s developmental vision to be amongst the 10 most innovative countries internationally by 2021.
Providing financing solutions and the necessary guarantees to innovative entrepreneurs, in order to facilitate their access to business loans to finance their projects, and help them turn their ideas into actual projects.
Contributing to establishing a supportive environment for innovation in collaboration with financial institutions and funding entities, such as commercial banks, investment funds and family businesses, among others.
The project idea must be unique and innovative, whether a technical project, processes, products or services that are registered as intellectual properties of their respective owner, and the initial stage of the project must already have been established.
Applicants must be a resident, individual or a company registered in the UAE. Applying is not restricted to Emirati companies but also includes all companies in the region, provided that they are registered in the UAE.
Introducing long-term business development plan supported by a feasibility study in order to qualify the project to acquire the appropriate funding.
Sectors of the National Innovation Strategy:
The fund will focus on financing projects within the seven major sectors of the National Innovation Strategy. These are:
Renewable Energy: Encouraging innovation in the industries related to renewable and clean energy, in addition to promoting applied research in the field of clean technology, and establishing a new system based on decentralised power generation.
Transportation: Stimulating innovation in the field of air and maritime transport, services and logistic cities in order to provide new and innovative products and services, as well as enhancing the efficiency of procedures, and shortening the times in linking east with the west, and the north with the south. The strategy also focuses on innovation in the field of vehicles and drones.
Education: Encouraging innovation in education by providing students with the skills of the 21st century, such as critical thinking, problem solving, creativity and innovation, perseverance, the ability to adapt and others, in addition to creating labs for innovation in schools and universities to encourage inventions.
Health: Encouraging innovation in the provision of health care services and treatments using advanced technologies, and encouraging the development of pharmaceutical industries and biotechnology, in addition to working with strategic partners to develop the medical research sector in order to treat prevalent diseases.
Water: Encouraging innovation in addressing water scarcity.
Technology: Innovation in research and technology.
Space: Exploring space and developing technology in the fields of communications, satellites, and research related to the transfer of space technology for use on Earth through specialised institutions, in order to develop the space sector as one of the new sectors in the national economy.