HH Sheikh Mohammed officially launches innovation fund
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund will seek to support innovative ideas
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai has officially launched a new fund for innovation, as part of UAE Innovation Week.
The Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation is intended to support innovators and entrepreneurs, and to connect them to funding. HH Sheikh Mohammed also launched a new online platform where users can apply for funding.
The launch was announced during HH Sheikh Mohammed's visit to the Ministry of Finance's own Innovation Festival, which took place this week.
HH also said the UAE government has worked to create an environment for innovation incubators by adopting models for financial and moral support that work on building capacities and upgrading national competencies. HH emphasized that in order to support innovation, there must be an effective cooperation and participation between society and the public and private sectors, which is thereby essential for the development and growth of various sectors.
The fund is intended to provide financing for innovative projects, and to support national goals for a diverse, knowledge-based economy.
Applications to the fund will be considered by the fund's team and will also be evaluated by experts in relevant fields, to determine their compliance with the Fund's standards, and their commercial potential. The applicants need to provide long-term plans for their projects supported by a study in order to qualify them to receive the required funding.
HE Younis Haji Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, said during a keynote address that it is important to promote innovation and communications between innovators and other stakeholders.
"We need to promote the values of innovation amongst our society. Government entities and the private sector have to cooperate and work on strengthening the innovative culture amongst members of our community as well as enhance our approach to it. The UAE Innovation Week represents an important platform to research different practical ideas and encourage creative ideas, which will change our societies for the better," he said.
"The Fund will provide much needed support for innovation in the UAE through facilitating the requirements of projects and by reducing financial risks to strengthen the sustainable development of their businesses. The Fund will also provide a number of services designed to accelerate the process of driving innovation, support innovative entrepreneurs in developing their business locally and internationally and increase their chances of receiving the technical support and the required financing in cooperation with the public and private sectors."