The Dubai government and Dubai Holding have announced a one billion dirham fund (US$275 million) to address seven global challenges.
The fund will be invested over five years in projects and companies taking part in a new program called Dubai Future Accelerators, which is designed to advance innovations in specific sectors across the UAE.
The program, which is open to international and local companies, encourages people to propose innovative solutions for seven ‘future challenges’ common to governments around the world: healthcare, transportation, renewable energy, sustainability, education, security and urban planning.
It specifically wants to see ideas that take advantage of the most recent innovations in science and technology, including robotics, artificial intelligence, 3D printing, biomimicry, and biotechnology.
The areas it’s requesting investment pitches for are around reducing water and energy consumption, prototyping automated transportation systems, testing automated and nature-inspired building systems, deploying digital solutions across the hospitality, food and beverage, and real estate sectors and testing integrated behavioral, genetic and biological systems.
The goal is to stimulate innovation and the application of emerging technologies in the areas most important to human life, adding that the UAE – and Dubai, in particular – have succeeded in creating new sectors in the past, and will continue to do so in the future.
"By means of our global competition, we aim to align the efforts of key global stakeholders and the government of Dubai to create a global market worth billions of dollars. Our long-term vision is to help solve the most important challenges that face us all in the future," said Dubai Future Foundation CEO Saif Al Aleeli.