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Khalifa Innovation Center opens in UAE

ABU DHABI, November 25, 2015

The Khalifa Innovation Center was opened under the patronage of Sheikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, National Security Advisor and Vice President of the Executive Council of Abu Dhabi; Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, chairman of the Prince Crown Court and chairman of the Board of Trustees of Khalifa University.
 
The centre was founded by Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Khalifa University, Tawazun Economic Council, and Mubadala Development Company.
 
Sheikh Hamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan emphasised on the importance of this critical and vital initiative. He aims for the centre to be one of the quality initiatives that will support innovative projects in the UAE.
 
The driver behind the UAE’s competitiveness was its people, and the future will focus on innovative ideas and creative effort, he said.
 
He emphasised that the UAE has charted a path for itself based on creativity and innovation in order to maintain both its distinction and uniqueness at the forefront of world’s countries.
 
During the launch ceremony, Hussein Jassim Al Nowais, chairman of Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, announced that the centre was opened in co-operation with Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research, Tawazun Economic Council, and Mubadala Development Company.
 
The volume of investment in the centre would reach about Dh200 million over the next five years, he said. 
 
He expects that the centre will incubate no fewer than 1,000 innovative Emiratis over five years in order to give them the opportunity to develop their ideas and business models and turn them into investment projects.
 
The centre will operate over the next five years by offering an integrated package of financial and technical support in order to provide an umbrella for nearly 130 innovative ideas and empower their owners to transforms the projects into models that can be practically applied, he said.
 
The amount of money granted per idea is expected to reach Dh300,000 ($81,654).
 
Meanwhile, another package of support will be provided to models for distinctive practical application in order to transform them into projects within incubators in Khalifa Innovation Center, said Al Nowais.
 
This would include financial support of up to Dh1 million for ten projects annually. Al Nowais expects the centre to help supply the national economy with a number of projects with value-added and exert a high annual impact by tendering quality ventures with a contribution of no less than 50% of the volume of investment for each through venture capital institutions.
 
The Khalifa Fund has provided direct cash funding worth approximately Dh1.4 billion, which 1,130 projects run by Emiratis across the country benefitted from. He explained that the fund organised more than 470 training sessions in which 7,000 male and female Emiratis participated.
 
The centre aims at supporting entrepreneurship in the UAE as well as development of SMEs in the fields of innovation and creativity. 
 
It will strive to transform the results of scientific research within universities into successful commercial ventures in addition to encouraging innovation in technology transfer, launching innovative SMEs capable of competing regionally and globally, and reducing the risk of failure for innovative start-ups through training, guidance, funding, counseling, and various support services. - TradeArabia News Service



Tags: innovation | Khalifa | centre |

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