The UAE’s Ministry of Finance has launched a new accelerator to drive innovation in the country.
The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) Accelerator is a year-long programme established in partnership with both the public and private sector to support local and international startups with inventive products and services that can contribute to the UAE’s economy.
“Our vision is to make the innovation accelerator a pioneering platform to nurture innovation,” said Sheikh Hamdan Bin Rashid, Minister of Finance. “The eligibility criteria include the innovative nature of the business, its corporate leadership, its alignment with the UAE’s national innovation strategy within key sectors, the social impact of its Emiratisation agenda and its Emirati talent support.”
The accelerator is part of the MBRIF, a Dh2 billion guarantee scheme launched two years ago with the aim of establishing the UAE as a pioneer in innovation. So far, the fund, which is operated by the Emirates Development Bank, has backed three startups including Pure Harvest, Lamsa and Oliv, formely InternsME.
“For us, it’s all about driving innovation into the DNA of the UAE,” said Alex Collins, managing director at MBRIF Accelerator. “We’re targeting two different groups, first the innovators already in the UAE to help them reach the next stage of growth or get into other markets. Second, global startups with the best innovations that are out there but need support to come to the UAE.”
The accelerator is non-profit and will not take an equity stake or membership fees.