- Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to launch the MIT DesignX Dubai accelerator, aiming to invest in sustainability and cleantech startups.
- This marks MIT’s first accelerator in the region, designed to scale startups building solutions in the realms of water, climate change, food security, and energy.
- Selected startups will benefit from MIT’s growing network of mentors, investors, and corporate partners.
Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has partnered with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to introduce MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator, MIT’s first accelerator in the region aimed at facilitating the establishment of innovative businesses.
The agreement was signed by His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of DIEZ and Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning at MIT, at the MIT campus in Boston, US.
With a strong focus on sustainability, this innovative venture accelerator programme will empower entrepreneurs in the region to devise efficient and sustainable solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges facing the urban environment in diverse areas such as water, climate, food security and energy, through design innovation.
The accelerator provides comprehensive business development and design support, including access to MIT mentors, investors and corporate partners.
The DesignX Dubai will be guided by distinguished MIT faculty, operating under the management of the Global Growth Hub (GGH), a leading Dubai-based management and consulting firm specialised in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth.
Commenting on this initiative, His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Executive Chairman of Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ), said: “DIEZ prioritises technology-driven sustainable development and supports entrepreneurs that offer smart city solutions to boost efficiency. Through our partnership with MIT and GGH, we aim to catalyse the creation of revolutionary solutions that address global challenges while positioning Dubai as a hub for sustainable entrepreneurship. DesignX signifies a substantial leap towards advancing sustainability-focused innovation not just within Dubai, but globally.”
Dr. Al Zarooni added: “By nurturing entrepreneurial creativity and empowering innovators to bring their visions to life, this partnership underscores DIEZ’s commitment to fulfilling its role as a hub for attracting and nurturing talent, technology and knowledge, as outlined in the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan.”
Hashim Sarkis, Dean of the School of Architecture & Planning at MIT, expressed his enthusiasm about this partnership, saying: “This initiative will provide an ideal platform for cutting-edge projects to flourish, showcasing MIT's unwavering dedication to addressing global challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship. By granting teams access to MIT's accomplished faculty, mentors, and resources, we aim to foster groundbreaking solutions for a more sustainable future.”
He added: “DIEZ is the ideal partner for this initiative, given its commitment to smart city solutions and its status as a preferred destination for technology entrepreneurs.”
With a global footprint spanning Hong Kong, Venice, Boston, Mexico City and Reykjavik, DesignX has nurtured and graduated 118 companies with a combined portfolio valuation of approximately US$1 billion.
Since its establishment in 2016, the MIT DesignX program has been at the forefront of driving design innovation and fostering ventures that address crucial issues and opportunities in design, urban environments and human-built interactions. By harnessing the profound expertise of MIT's faculty and mentors, the MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator will guide ten visionary teams through developing their sustainability-focused innovations, from conceptualisation to practical realisation.
Entrepreneurs can apply to join the programme at https://www.mdxb.mit.edu/.