ABU DHABI - As part of its efforts to enhance the innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem in the emirate, the Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD), part of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), has officially launched the "Abu Dhabi innovation incubators programme" to support individuals wishing to turn their ideas into innovative commercial opportunities that, in turn, will support a diversified, robust, smart, and sustainable economy.

This incubator programme is part of the 14 initiatives under the "Abu Dhabi Innovates". Launched in May 2022, the framework was designed to enhance the innovation ecosystem in the emirate. It provides visionaries and entrepreneurs access to the space and equipment required to develop their innovations and convert them into commercialisable services and products.

Innovation incubators are among the top identified drivers that encourage and incentivise individuals. They play a significant role in providing a stimulating environment to support and convert ideas or scientific inventions into commercial opportunities.

Sameh Al Qubaisi, Director-General of Economic Affairs at ADDED, said, "This programme is in line with ADDED’s commitment to support and develop prosperous projects and provide regulatory and institutional frameworks that support innovation and research and development (R&D) in vital economic sectors. This will be achieved by following a set of policies and regulations developed by ADDED and partners to ensure that innovation incubators are well-equipped and have the right operating model to support innovators at different stages. We believe this will help enhance the innovation ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, support the continuous development of the business environment and strengthen Abu Dhabi’s status regionally and globally."

Public and private institutions, which are investing in innovative technology solutions and supporting research and development (R&D), are eligible to earn an innovation incubator’s licence, following a thorough review by experts and according to best practices and policies in this field.

Leading academic and private institutions granted an incubator’s licence include Khalifa University, Al Ain University, Abu Dhabi University, Higher College of Technology, Khwarizmi International College, New York University-Abu Dhabi, Plug and Play, and Fat6lab.

In line with Abu Dhabi’s focus on knowledge-based, innovation-driven economic sectors, the innovation incubator programme will focus on developing innovations that support clusters with high growth potential, including Internet of Things (IoT), data centres and cloud services, e-commerce, smart manufacturing, clinical research, asset management, commodity trading, tourism, FinTech, and AgriTech.

Hala Al Ameri, Executive Director of the Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD), said, "Innovation incubators enhance innovators’ capabilities, and provide them with a suitable environment to develop their ideas from initiation to delivery, and accelerate the development of their innovations and projects."

"The programme will also facilitate access to financing opportunities and business deals as well as encouraging entrepreneurs and investors to deal with trusted incubators, select innovations to invest in and support innovators to navigate their way through challenges to success," Al Ameri added.