Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA), one of Dubai Future Foundation’s (DFF) initiatives, has announced the successful implementation of a virtual program in collaboration with a group of government and private entities in Dubai. The organization’s efforts to navigate the current environment and shift towards a remote way of working aims to enable an uninterrupted and impactful completion of the 7th program.
Earlier this year, Dubai Future Accelerators kickstarted its 9week in-residence program with 28 companies from 17 countries, including the USA, South Korea, Germany and New Zealand. These companies were selected from a global pool of applicants and invited to Dubai by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), Dubai Health Authority (DHA), Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Etisalat, Dubai Police, and Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA).
Since the COVID-19 outbreak began to impose global health challenges and restrictions on travel in different countries, DFA’s move to remote work is in line with the global trends, to ensure the safety of participants, and to continue to support its startups and partner entities during this time.
Saeed Al Falasi, Executive Director of Future Platforms at Dubai Future Foundation said: “The success that we have seen through implementing a remote working approach with government entities is testament to the UAE and Dubai’s readiness to cope with sudden changes in working patterns amid the current situation that is unfolding.”
He added: “Owing to the superior digital infrastructure and resilience of our organization, we have transitioned to alternative working models that enable participating government entities and its network of startups and innovators to connect, share and work together across organizations and geographic boundaries.”
For her part, Hind Al Mualla, Board Member & Chief of Creativity, Happiness and Innovation at KHDA, said: “Dubai’s Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) has already implemented a series of remote working initiatives to connect with potential companies as part of the ongoing cohort of Dubai Future Accelerators. The future team at KHDA regularly hosts virtual meetings with participating companies and works towards finding new ways to create a closer connect with Dubai’s education community.”
She added, “Participating companies have also been showcased in KHDA’s #InThisTogether campaign, highlighting innovative ideas and solutions. Providing a new resource for education community, the portal features apps, websites, services and other resources that can help learners during the distance learning period.”
Dr. Mohammed Al Redha, Director of Project Management Office and Informatics and Smart Health at DHA, said: “Dubai Future Accelerators is a technology driven initiative and the DHA has successfully introduced several cutting-edge technologies in the healthcare sector including 3D printing for prosthetics, for complex pre-operative planning and dental services, during the last seven cycles of the Dubai Future Accelerators program.”
Dr. Al Redha added: “The DHA’s DFA team have adopted the work-from-home system and we are liaising with our employees and partners who are based in various countries around the world. Our pace of work remains efficient and with various remote technologies available to remain connected, we continue with determination to work towards introducing innovative technologies in the healthcare sector. We have been particularly focusing on solutions that tackle various aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our team is liaising with local and international companies and is analyzing the solutions they are presenting to look into its viability in the healthcare landscape of Dubai.”
To continue the delivery of an impactful experience to the government entities as well as start-ups, Dubai Future Accelerators has shifted the last third of their program from an in-residence cohort to a fully virtual program and has conducted several online sessions and webinars.
DFA hosted a webinar in partnership with LinkedIn which outlined the most important opportunities available to benefit from the platform’s extensive global network for business development and partnerships in the MENA region.
With investor mandates also being affected by COVID-19, DFA invited MAGNiTT, a leading online community platform for startups and investors across the MENA region, to discuss the most important regional and global investment trends, as well as best practices to access the local investor ecosystem.
To support the participating startups in their local expansion journey, IN5 and Support Legal shared common practices and advice related to business setup in Dubai. Furthermore, the Human Resources team at Dubai Future Foundation organized a workshop focused on attracting and scouting local and international talents, as well as best practices for developing successful work teams.
With the 7th cohort of the Dubai Future Accelerators program coming to an end, the participating entities are now deciding with which startups they will enter an official agreement. The government entities and selected companies will then conduct pilot projects or start the implementation of their tech-solution and so contribute to accelerate innovation in their respective industries.