In a bid to build a more sustainable knowledge-based economy for future generations, Sandooq Al Watan (National Fund) has introduced its first initiative entitled ‘Mustaqbalna’ (Our Future).
The importance of this unique initiative lies in its drive to contribute towards a more sustainable knowledge-based economy, through the development and implementation of technologies and ideas that are both innovative and unparalleled on a global scale. Through this initiative, ideas will be transformed into real projects that will advance the UAE’s levels of international competitiveness and attract future investments. The initiative will also focus on establishing an ecosystem that would allow the UAE to be home for future companies that can create similar large-scale change to that produced by the likes of Google and Tesla.
The innovative initiative embodies the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, for preparing for the post-oil stage.
The creation of this new generation of globally competitive UAE-based companies will be implemented following integrated and carefully studied phases; and will support the building of the future economy and sustainable growth within every level of the vital and strategic sectors.
The 3 Key Stages for a New Generation of Global Companies
In partnership with the private sector and through joint funding, the ‘Mustaqbalna’ (Our Future) initiative aims to stimulate the applied research sector by generating ideas and increasing the number of patents in vital sectors within fields such as the aviation, space, water, and genome sectors.
The initiative additionally aims to contribute towards: the marketing of inventions; establishing startups; supporting a research culture; and activating partnerships between the private sector and academic institutions. By the end of 2017, the Fund is projected to provide up to USD $4 million per sector over the span of three years.
The initiative will seek to attract ideas by conducting various publicity campaigns and through recommendations from partners and other similar competitions. Ideas will be selected based on their strength, innovation, social influence, and the ability of the team to implement the idea. The ideas will be both developed and adopted following the guidance and counseling provided by Sandooq Al Watan throughout the process; with the marketing of such projects to be provided through innovative programs garnered through strategic partnerships.
During the first stage of the initiative, the Fund will launch programs to enhance the skills of the partners via three innovation centers throughout the UAE—with the first expected to be launched late 2018. These innovation centers will provide workspaces as well as financial and administrative support for the projects.
In addition to helping the project managers to launch their project, the centers will also provide training for the managers in the fields of entrepreneurship, planning, marketing, and design.
The initiative will additionally expedite business by providing expertise to projects and promoting them via the ‘Ruwad Al Qasr’ (Pitch@Palace UAE) initiative which will showcase the most significant projects in a special event due to be held in October 2017.
The Fund will sharpen the skills of the project manager needed to overcome key challenges via a program devised of plans to help them circumvent and transform the inevitable challenges into opportunities for growth. It will also promote investment opportunities by providing entrepreneurs with the ability to present their ideas to businessmen, investors, mentors, and specialists who would provide their views and financial support to accelerate the growth of the projects.
Supporting 20 Innovative Startup Projects by 2020
Through this initiative, Sandooq Al Watan will work to provide a suitable environment that stimulates innovation and contributes towards the creative potential of the people in establishing projects that positively impact society and the development, growth, and prosperity of the nation.
In a bid to enhance the nation’s GDP and to provide additional growth opportunities of a knowledge-based economy, 20 innovative startup projects within vital sectors are scheduled to be supported via the Fund and its innovation centers by 2020.
The ‘Mustaqbalna’ initiative will focus on unprecedented projects and technologies in several sectors, to include the fields of education, environment, energy, health, transport, space, and technology.