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Breathing life into the Oasis

Dubai Silicon Oasis is increasing the pace of its development as it seeks to raise its profile as a genuine hub of innovation in Dubai.

Dubai Silicon Oasis is increasing the pace of its development as it seeks to raise its profile as a genuine hub of innovation in Dubai.

Ray Milhem, Chief Technology Officer for Technology Investment, explains that the organisation is cementing ties with universities, venture capitalists, businesses and startups in a bid to create a critical mass of chip making and electronics innovators.

Milhem, who previously worked in Silicon Valley, says that Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority has been successful in encouraging some high profile companies such as Philips and Juniper Networks to the location.

It is now looking to expand its reach to universities and venture capitalists to encourage greater research and development, and help foster startups. Milhem says that a truly "integrated park" relies on having a combination of government incentives - such as free zone status - as well as the presence of startups, big companies, academic instructions and venture capitalists.

Dubai Silicon Oasis has already had some recent successes with a number of startup companies now operating on a steady footing.

One startup at the park is Dubai Circuit Design. The company, which was developed from a team of chipset specialists who previously worked for chip making heavyweights such as Qualcomm and AMD, specialises in the design of chips.

The firm has been working with an Irish company called Movidia on the design of a chipset to allow movie editing on a handset. DSO already has ties with universities including RIT in Dubai, UAE University, and is in discussions with Al Ain University, according to Milhem.

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