“the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is now a world-class destination for innovators to come and work with our government institutions to shape the future of vital sectors,” said H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), as he attended the closing ceremony of the Dubai Future Accelerators’ (DFA) second cycle.
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan applauded the forward-thinking and ambitious directives of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for propelling the UAE to the prominent position it now occupies – especially with regards to future industries.
“The UAE is offering technology companies an ideal platform to test global technologies and future solutions,” H.H. Sheikh Hamdan continued, “which cements the emirate’s leading position in future industries and in the global charge to shape the future of the most vital sectors today. The Dubai Future Accelerators program sets an example and a business model where various sectors – public and private – can come together to find ways to face the challenges of the future, and benefit from the opportunities to secure sustainable development and prosperity for future generations.”
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan added: “The second edition of the Dubai Future Accelerators program witnessed seismic shifts in the field of future technologies. This reiterates the fact that Dubai is now a global hub for advanced technologies and a platform to exchange experience and learn about the latest developments. Furthermore, the initiatives launched today will enhance the program’s reputation as the world’s best platform to connect the private and public sectors to build the future.”
Twelve private and public entities took part in the successful second cycle of the DFA program, leading to a number of agreements between participants. This reaffirms the instrumental role the program plays in the economic development of strategic sectors, as it transforms government entities into global centers for future industries.
Twenty-Eight MoUs Between Government Departments and Innovative Companies
A total of 28 agreements were signed between participating entities and innovation companies during DFA’s second cycle, including an MoU between RTA and UBER to explore the feasibility of introducing flying taxis in Dubai. Similarly, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) signed four MoUs with each of Funzi, Proversity, Zspace and iMake to launch an e-training program for schools in Dubai and to train Emirati nationals to work in the private sector.
Meanwhile, the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) signed three MoUs with Desolinator, solarbanks, and Mulk holdings to build a desalination plant that uses cutting edge solar energy in Jebel Ali, using the most developed solar power generators in the world. Moreover, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) signed agreements with ASG Medical Equipment, ArcSecond and Photothera Labs to develop advanced health solutions, including a new technology to treat the eye retina for diabetic patients. In addition, du signed an MoU with Ultimate AI to use artificial intelligence as a means to drastically improve customer service in both Arabic and English.
The Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai (DNRD) will work with Object Tech and Luther Systems to facilitate procedures for residency using biometrics systems and Blockchain technology. The Dubai Economic Department (DED), meanwhile, signed MoUs with Otonomos and MarketIQ to create new and innovative licensing procedures using the Blockchain technology and Big Data, reducing processing time for applications by 80%.
Dubai Police (DP), for its part, signed three agreements with Papilon, Velours, and Parabon, to deploy facial recognition glasses, DNA-image database, and indoor mapping technologies that increase efficiency by 90%. Etisalat also signed three MoUs with Mobile Doctors, AlTibbi and Made of Genes, to bring the latest telemedicine technologies to the large medical institutions in the region, as well as a pilot “geno-bank” to Dubai.
The list of MoUs included agreements between Smart Dubai, Avanza Solutions and Consensys to standardize government services payment gateways using Blockchain, and to create a cryptocurrency for Dubai. Additionally, the Dubai Municipality signed MoUs with Renca and Winnow to legalize 3D printing building material in order to promote 3D printing in construction, and to encourage the deployment of the Internet of Things (IoT) to reduce food waste across the hospitality sector.
DFA Future Team Heroes Award
DFA’s cycle two included the launch of the DFA Future Team Heroes Award, which goes to the government team that offered the most innovative solutions, adding significant value to the Dubai Future Accelerators program and boosting the efforts to realize the forward-thinking vision of H.H. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who has called for increased cross-sectoral cooperation.
The award evaluates teams based on four main criteria: first, participation, which tracks each team’s participation in workshops and other activities throughout the program. The second criteria measures the extent to which each government entity provided support for the participating companies. The third looks into each team’s dedication to supporting the objectives of the DFA program. The fourth and final criteria evaluates leadership skills of the team. The winning teams were: Dubai Police in first place, the Knowledge and Human Development Authority in second and the Department of Naturalisation and Residency Dubai in third place.
An Ideal Opportunity to Find Solutions for Future Challenges
The Dubai Future Accelerators program offers an ideal opportunity to work towards finding solutions for the challenges that are expected to arise within the most vital sectors. Over the course of 9 weeks, the program pairs top companies and cutting-edge entrepreneurs with powerful partners in the Dubai Government to create breakthrough solutions together.
The DFA program was designed to tend to sectors of strategic importance and develop solutions for the challenges that are expected to arise therein, based on a future forecast facilitated by Fourth-Industrial-Revolution technologies. The program includes workshops that fit with each government department’s aspirations and strategic priorities. DFA was designed based on revolutionary techniques to forecast the future of sectors and study the impact of science and Fourth Inudstrial Revolution technologies on various sectors, including: artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, biotechnology, 3D printing and genetics, among others.