July 20, 2016
H.H. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has launched the Dubai Future Accelerators, the largest accelerator for government services in the world, to enable rapid deployment of transformative technologies. This is fantastic news for all things tech in Dubai, including 3D printing.
Accelerators, which are programs and integrated systems, will enable entrepreneurs and innovators transform their ideas into successful companies. The initiative will speed up the deployment of transformative technologies by bringing leaders in government and the world’s most innovative companies together.
Dubai Future Accelerators has been designed as part of the “Dubai Future Agenda’ to develop 21st century solutions and initiatives around the world. It seeks to bring together top international companies and entrepreneurs to address seven key “21st century opportunities” to create breakthrough solutions for exciting opportunities and pressing challenges.
This includes the application of cutting edge technologies like AI and robotics, genomics, 3D printing, distributed ledgers, biomimicry and biotechnology, as well as new business models and ways of working.
“This is not a traditional accelerator programme,” Dubai Future Foundation CEO, Saif Al Aleeli said. “This isn’t about marketing plans and search engine optimisation. This is about connecting your ideas and innovations with the people who have the power to make them real. This is about creating and testing real proof of concepts and prototypes at the city-wide scale.”
The Dubai Future Accelerators will focus on identifying and deploying futuristic prototypes and products on a city-wide scale, something which no other program has offered until now. The program is structured around seven organisations, including Dubai Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority and Dubai Holding.
“Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid’s vision is the engine to achieve our goals and transform the UAE into the global capital to explore and create the future,” Shaikh Hamdan said in a statement.
“Our goal is to transform the city of Dubai into a global test bed for leading ideas and technologies,” he added.
“Throughout history, Dubai has created and recreated the government and industries it needs in order to take advantage of the world’s most important trends and opportunities. From the creation of Emirates Airlines to our world leading ports, business centers and tourist infrastructure, we have always identified what is needed next and done what was necessary to make it happen.” His Highness added.
“Today we continue that process by launching Dubai Future Accelerators. We invite all those across the world who want to create a better future to come to Dubai and help us create a better future,” Mohammed Al Gergawi , UAE Minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future and Vice Chairman of Dubai Future Foundation, said.
“Those lucky enough to be selected will get to experience firsthand how readily we can move mountains together, how quickly we create change, and how anything is possible. Let it start here in Dubai, but let it touch the entire world,” Al Gergawi said.
“When it comes to innovation, there is a flood of good ideas but not enough champions with courage and vision to test them out,” he added.
“You could say that there is an ’implementation gap’. This is why we are launching Dubai Future Accelerators to close this gap connecting our most powerful and influential government leaders with the world’s most ambitious companies and entrepreneurs.”
Their key “future challenges”, which will be announced shortly, range from developing personalised learning systems that work across curriculums and cultures, technologies that reduce water and energy consumption by a factor of 10, automated cargo delivery services that reduce congestion and CO2 emissions, and biologically inspired building materials that are faster, cheaper, and more effective than traditional materials.
Technologists and entrepreneurs from around the world will be invited to submit proposals for cutting edge products or new technologies. The winning companies or innovators will be flown to Dubai where they will develop their projects in dedicated creative workspaces in the Future Accelerator’s newly-opened facility in Emirates Towers, with full access to a state-of-the-art prototyping lab and deep engagement with the government leaders championing each area.
At the conclusion of the program, the most promising solutions to the challenges will be selected for implementation and commercial development. Outside investors and potential customers will also have access to participating companies after completion of the prestigious program. The challenges will be announced in the coming weeks, and applications will be open to everyone from startups to big corporations. All you need is a working prototype that addresses the challenge in question.