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Dubai Future Accelerators redefines public and private sector collaboration in shaping the future

December 11, 2016

Several members of the board of trustees of Dubai Future Foundation and Director Generals of the participating government entities of Dubai Future Accelerators have praised the programme for its efforts and the pivotal role it plays in changing the way the public and private sector work together in shaping the future. The programme has announced 19 pilot projects within 7 strategic sectors in its first cycle, to tackle strategic challenges through innovative solutions, making the program the first of its kind in the world with such results.

The Dubai Future Accelerators program has also announced five new government entities joining the second cycle of the program, and they are: Department of Economic Development, Smart Dubai Office, General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du), and Etisalat Group.

Dubai Health Authority

His Excellency Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said that the ‘Dubai Future Accelerators’ programme launched by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has transformed the field of strategic planning and future building.

Al Qatami said the authority has made progress in the first Future Accelerators’ session as it has already chosen three companies to achieve its goals in the field of Happiness Hours, Smart Intelligence and 3D printing.

He added that the authority aims to continue on working towards accomplishing the goals of the future accelerators with the aim of becoming a pioneer among the international and regional organizations in future planning and innovation.

Al Qatami said the future accelerators initiative is considered a big and important challenge for the authority, which has equipped itself with all the tools and opportunities needed to overcome these challenges, with the aim of achieving international competitiveness

Roads and Transportation Authority

His Excellency Matar Al-Tayer, Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), noted that: during the course of its participation in the first round of the Dubai Future Accelerators program, the Authority explored Hyperloop technology and the possibilities of applying it to the public transportation sector in Dubai. The Authority also examined Dubai’s readiness to introduce new means of transportation including and smart self-driving cars or buses, H.E. continued, adding that the authority selected three participating companies from the Accelerators program.

RTA has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyperloop One, H.E. Al-Tayer revealed, to conduct a feasibility study that would determine whether or not the technology could be implemented to link Dubai to other destinations in the UAE and abroad, and whether it would be economically sound.

The Authority signed another agreement with NEXT Future Transport in order to evaluate the prospects of implementing self-driving transport means on-demand, as well as an agreement with Movement to provide mini buses.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

His Excellency Saeed Al-Tayer, Managing Director & CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), also pointed out that: “DEWA is working with a number of government organizations to achieve the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 as soon as possible, and improve the culture of the UAE government, and develop an environment that supports innovation, Research and Development (R&D), and shapes the future to benefit from international experiences, making the UAE the one of the best and happiest countries in the world. This adheres to the directives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

By participating in Dubai Future Accelerators, we want to achieve fast and tangible results that support our policies and programmes and accelerate government services to advanced levels, by adopting a mechanism that focuses on results through enabling joint government teams, and designing intensive programmes and implementing in them in a short time, in addition to adopting innovative and leading methodologies. Our work focuses on a Sustainable Environment and Infrastructure, which includes 11 indicators in the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021. We strive to ensure the continuity of a sustainable environment and its protection, to achieve a balance between economic and social development.

This will allow us to harvest a sustainable environment with a focus on air quality, the conservation of water resources, increasing our use of clean energy, and green development. DEWA also strives to enhance the quality of its electricity and communications services, placing the UAE at the forefront in providing smart services, with a focus on quality of life for citizens and residents.”

He adds, “DEWA is working to enhance the strategy for the Dubai Future Agenda, to establish the largest Government backed Accelerators in the world. We will do this through the Innovation Centre, located at the Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park, which is equipped with the latest renewable and clean energy technologies to improve the energy skills and capabilities of UAE Nationals.

The Innovation Centre works to increase our use of renewable energy, while enhancing the competitiveness of the region by incubating new technologies and renewable energy solutions. The Centre also supports the development of energy in the region and increases the community’s awareness about renewable and sustainable energy.”

Dubai Municipality

Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director General of Dubai Municipality, applauded the Dubai Future Accelerators program’s contributions to Dubai the UAE’s position as a regional and global leader in innovation and creativity. The Accelerators successfully implemented bold and innovative ideas, supporting the government’s objectives for strategic sectors, he noted; the program proposed innovative solutions for organizations that can contribute to achieving sustainable development and a drastic change in approach for Dubai. The Accelerators program has attracted some of the world’s brightest minds to Dubai, allowing them to benefit from best practices to develop solutions on par with the highest international standards, all in a bid to turn Dubai into the most innovative city on the planet.

Dubai Holding

Ahmad Bin Byat, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Dubai Holding, said: “Dubai Future Accelerators brings the technology of tomorrow to our city today, and we are very pleased by the progress that the current start-ups have demonstrated in the first cycle of the programme. Through Dubai Future Accelerators, we are working with some of the world’s best and brightest minds to identify new and innovative solutions to the challenges facing businesses today, and to enhance our customer experience and interaction. We are quite pleased by some of the prototypes developed over the course of last three months and are looking to develop them into feasible and viable solutions for our Group.”

He added, “Dubai Holding is committed to leading through example by leveraging these disruptive answers across our value chain. This partnership demonstrates our commitment to supporting the vision of our leadership in making the UAE one of the world’s most competitive and resilient economies, while driving forward the National Innovation Strategy.”

Knowledge and Human Development Authority

His Excellency Dr Abdullah Al-Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Dubai Future Accelerators provides a unique experience, allowing, over the course of its 12 weeks, for ideas to be shared and future opportunities to be explored. The program saw innovative solutions being formulated – solutions that can shape the future of the local, regional, and international educational systems – which ultimately goes to realize the Dubai Future Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021.

“The challenge presented an opportunity to learn from the ideas and solutions that were proposed, and that reflect the rapid changes taking place in cyberspace – especially the innovative solutions coming from outside the educational sector.”
“We will continue to move forward,” H.E. continued, “in collaboration with our local and international partners, and invest in the most promising opportunities and the innovative solutions. This serves to ensure a brighter and happier future for our students, as we apply new methods to better deliver our educational services, and to meet the aspirations and expectations of future generations.”

New Joining Entities

Department of Economic Development

“The Dubai Future Accelerators is an essential and important step towards consolidating efforts across all sectors in the country to achieve the national agenda for 2021, expressed His Excellency Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, “The focus of the initiative on elevating efficiency in government services to highest levels is consistent with the strategic objective of the Department of Economic Development to achieve customer happiness through a highly advanced technology infrastructure and smart services.

The Dubai Future Accelerators programme launched earlier this year is a world leader in charting new pathways for our economy and society to achieve our leadership’s vision of an innovative, knowledge-based sustainable economy. The Department of Economic Development is playing a pivotal role in the programme through its role in developing economic policies, promoting strategic growth sectors, pursuing excellence and enhancing competitiveness to reinforce Dubai as an ideal investment destination. Smart technologies are also being harnessed by the Department of Economic Development to offer initiatives and solutions related to consumer protection and investor services”.

General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs said: Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Future Accelerators initiative is an innovative system that falls under the umbrella of the Dubai Future Foundation. The program seeks to firmly position the UAE – and Dubai, in particular – as a global hub for shaping the future, and to support the efforts to plan for the future, anticipate development challenges, and flag investment opportunities.

The Dubai Future Accelerators will generate and implement creative ideas that help the government achieve its objectives for various sectors and all segments of society.

At General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs, we are keen on using the most state-of-the-art technologies to efficiently deliver our services, thus resonating with Dubai’s vision to build future cities and a future-centric economy.
We began preparing to take part in the Dubai Future Accelerators program as soon as it was launched by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council, and Chairman of the Board of Trustee of Dubai Future Foundation. H.H. Sheikh Hamdan sought to create a global platform that works to shape the future of strategic sectors, and to create economic value by incubating businesses, accelerating technological solutions, and attracting the world’s brightest minds to perfect and implement their innovations here in Dubai.

With that in mind, we recently signed an agreement with Samsung SDS – Middle East and Africa, Ltd. In a bid to strengthen mutual cooperation and formulate programs to deal with the major challenges and opportunities.

This collaboration with Samsung creates new opportunities and bolsters the Directorate’s efforts to employ cutting-edge technology to improve our services and make people happy. The agreement provides an opportunity to share expertise in areas including work development, training, and consulting services, which improves both our service offerings.

We are proud to be part of this one-of-a-kind global initiative, which has attracted as many as 2,200 applications from 73 countries in less than a month since its July 2016 launch. This makes the Dubai Future Accelerators program one of the most attractive business accelerators in the world, and validates the strategic orientation that the UAE has adopted, which calls for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship as key drivers of the economy of the future.

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

“As an ICT provider, we continue to partner with the UAE government to further the UAE’s Innovation Strategy and produce innovative and intellectual outcomes via multiple initiatives like Smart Dubai, where we play the role of strategic partner to create the foundation that will make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, as well as the Blockchain council where du is a member and is engaged in multiple pilots to test an embrace this innovative technology, and the Museum of the Future and the Government Summit of which du is the main sponsor,” said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du. “This new association with the Dubai Future Accelerators will enable us to further our investment into the entrepreneur community and facilitate start-ups and entrepreneurs to put their knowledge and innovations into action here in the UAE through du.”

Smart Dubai Office

‘How we respond to today’s challenges will define how we live in the cities of the future. At Smart Dubai, we are working with our partners across the city to ensure that Dubai in the future will be an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city that prioritises happiness, defined by quality of life and access to opportunity, for all residents and visitors. To achieve this future, we are committed to continually evaluating and innovating new solutions for the city to deliver unparalleled city experiences,’ said H.E Dr.Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office.

Dr.Aisha Bin Bishr added, ‘The Dubai Future Accelerator will be a powerful partner in the next phase of our smart city transformation, as we move from strategy to action. Under the Dubai Future Accelerator program, we have already seen new solutions emerge which will directly contribute to our smart city roadmap. Smart Dubai is excited to participate in the program, and we look forward to working with local and international best-in-breed innovators to join us in delivering future city solutions today, to advance us along our journey towards making Dubai the happiest city on earth.’

Etisalat Group

H.E Saleh Alabdooli, Group CEO of Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is fully aligned with Dubai Future Accelerators objective to achieve the goals of the national agenda and their vision to transform the future by bringing together entrepreneurs, government entities and the best companies.”