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13 July, 2015

Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority and Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre to Host Inaugural 'Innovation 4 Impact' Competition

To be Held at Global Islamic Economy Summit 2015

Dubai-UAE: 13 July, 2015

The inaugural 'Innovation 4 Impact' Competition, hosted by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) the integrated free zone technology park, and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) in collaboration with Thomson Reuters, will take centre-stage at the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2015) that will run from October 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

The initiative has been launched as part of the shared commitment between DSOA and DIEDC to support emerging economies through offering a well-rounded and enabling environment for incubating and developing technology ventures in the UAE and the wider region.

Supported by DIEDC, the Innovation 4 Impact Competition has been designed as a global platform for participating entrepreneurs to present their business, products or services to an expert panel, as well as to an audience comprising prominent entrepreneurs, trade visitors and opinion leaders.

The Innovation 4 Impact Competition, being managed in collaboration with the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, seeks to support start-ups and businesses in the Islamic digital economy and serve as an incubator for SMEs across the world. The competition is open to any company or entrepreneur with a potentially groundbreaking idea or business venture. Applicants ideas will be judged on different aspects including: innovation, economic and social impact as well as the scalability across markets and regions.  The proposed concept should belong to one of the following sectors:

1.    E-commerce

2.    Mobile computing

3.    Cloud computing

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4.    Big data

5.    Hyper-converged platforms

6.    New media and social media

The winner, selected through the votes of the jury and the audience, will be announced on the concluding day of the Global Islamic Economy Summit on October 6, and awarded an array of financial, incubational and recreational support prizes. The winning entrepreneur will also gain significant exposure through a special showcase within one of the prime components of GIES 2015.

Commenting on this competition, Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA, reiterated DSOA's commitment to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in the field of Islamic digital and Arabic content. He said: "The first 'Innovation 4 Impact' Competition has been developed to empower Islamic businesses in the digital and Arabic content field in line with the leadership's vision to transform Dubai into the 'Capital of Islamic Economy. The competition is a platform for start-ups and businesses to gain support and entrepreneurial advice to further develop their value propositions that will allow them to play a major role in the growth of the digital Islamic economy sector in the MENA region."

Dr Alzarooni added: "We are confident the digital economy will play a game-changing role in transforming people's everyday lives for the better. We are looking for innovative entrepreneurs whose digital technology solutions exhibit the potential to disrupt existing trends. Winners should provide intellectual currency that will help their countries shape a knowledge-based economy and emerge as frontrunners in their domain."

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre, said: "We are very pleased to support this competition that will positively impact the development of the Islamic economy through providing a unique platform for entrepreneurs pioneering innovation in digital economy and technology businesses. The development of the digital economy is a key strategic objective of the 'Capital of the Islamic Economy' initiative and we hope efforts such as this will go a long way towards promoting innovation and fostering entrepreneurship within the Islamic economy domain."

"Thomson Reuters is proud of our history of bringing people and new technologies together to help businesses prosper and improve the lives of the societies they serve. Digital businesses and solutions are increasingly becoming catalysts for the growth of developing economies and a significant number of digital users and consumers come from Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. For most people in these countries, digital technology solutions are a priority and they are more likely to be increasingly adopted in the next few years." said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters, Middle East and North Africa.

"Combining our proven track record developing new technologies with our fast-growing expertise in the Islamic Economy, Thomson Reuters is in a unique position to support the growth of the Islamic digital economy and we are extremely excited to be hosting the inaugural Innovation 4 Impact Competition alongside Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority," he added.

Building on the success and impact of the inaugural GIES Summit in 2013, the upcoming edition of the event (#2015GIES) will draw the presence of over 2,000 policymakers and business leaders and aims to raise the profile of the Islamic world through resolving issues in the Islamic economy. The summit's key focus areas will include business and investment opportunities in Islamic finance and insurance, the complete halal food value chain from manufacturing to logistics, as well as tourism and SMEs.

For further information on the Innovation 4 Impact Competition and details on participation, visit www.innovation4impact.net.

-Ends-

About DSOA
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), a 100% owned entity by the Government of Dubai is a free zone, strategically placed on Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed road. DSOA's urban master-planned community spans 7.2 square kilometers of state of the art office towers, R&D and industrial zones, educational institutions, luxury apartments, villas, hotels, healthcare and a full range of lifestyle facilities which translate into a dynamic commercial and social environment. Businesses can flourish under the unrivalled package of incentives, including 100% ownership, and high end IT infrastructure that allows companies to begin operating immediately. www.dsoa.ae.

For more information, please visit: www.dso.ae, or contact:
Mazen El Dirany
Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority
Senior Associate Manager - Corporate Communications
T +971 4 5015102
F +971 4 5015350
Email: meldirany@dso.ae | www.dsoa.ae/

Mathilda Saad
APCO Worldwide
Tel:         +9714 361 3879 (Direct)
M:            +97155 699 9890
Fax:        +9714 388 8001
Email:    msaad@apcoworldwide.com

Mahmoud Kandil
APCO Worldwide
Mob:     +971 55 3027386
Email:   mkandil@apcoworldwide.com

About Thomson Reuters
Thomson Reuters is the world's leading source of intelligent information for businesses and professionals. We combine industry expertise with innovative technology to deliver critical information to leading decision makers in the financial and risk, legal, tax and accounting, intellectual property and science and media markets, powered by the world's most trusted news organization. Thomson Reuters shares are listed on the Toronto and New York Stock Exchanges (symbol: TRI). For more information, go to www.thomsonreuters.com.

About DIEDC
DIEDC was established in December 2013 to transform Dubai into the 'Capital of Islamic Economy', as envisioned by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, supervises the efforts of the DIEDC and its Board to bolster Dubai's bid to become a global hub for the Islamic Economy, encompassing a wide array of sectors through harnessing the projected US$6.7 trillion Islamic economy market.

DIEDC is equipped with the financial, administrative and legal tools to promote economic activities compatible with Islamic law in Dubai's goods and financial services sector, as well as the non-financial sector. In this capacity, it will conduct research and specialist studies to determine the contribution of sharia-compliant activities to the emirate's gross domestic product, and explore how to extend this contribution to boost the economy. DIEDC is also mandated to create new products and lines of service to law firms specializing in finance structuring. www.iedcdubai.ae. 

About AMCC
AMCC is a registered, 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to developing the American Muslim consumer market. The objective of AMCC is to empower Muslim Consumers and entrepreneurs. Since 2009, AMCC has held an annual conference and Entrepreneur Competition in the US showcasing businesses and entrepreneurs whose products and services come from socially responsible ideas that benefit consumers as well as comply with Islamic values. http://americanmuslimconsumer.com

© Press Release 2015