DUBAI- As part of its commitment to boost the initiatives it runs in alignment with the strategic directives of the UAE government, the Ministry of Finance, MoF, announced today the launch of the next phase of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, which manages and operates the fund and its programmes under one national umbrella.
The next phase will create an integrated work environment that supports innovation and will integrate all the services the fund provides in a way that benefits its innovative members. During this phase, the Emirates Development Bank, EDB, will operate the two programmes of the MBRIF, namely the Innovation Accelerator programme and the Guarantee Scheme.
Younis Haji Al Khoori, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Finance, noted the importance of this launch, as it activates the fund’s role in supporting the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy. It will also help create solutions that support the objectives of the UAE Centennial 2071 and the UAE National Innovation Strategy.
He said, "This launch comes within the ministry and the EDB’s continuous efforts to link and integrate all of the fund’s services, swiftly and easily, under one national umbrella that falls in line with the UAE government’s plans and strategies."
Faisal Al Bastaki, CEO of the EDB said, "The launch of this new phase is part of our mandate to manage and operate the MBRIF under one umbrella, providing end-to-end support for start-ups through the Innovation Accelerator programme and the Guarantee Scheme funding programme which is guaranteed by the government. Through the Innovation Accelerator, we aim to maximise the growth potential of innovative start-ups with access to customised world-class coaching and mentoring through an ecosystem of global experts and partners."
Nearly 880 applications from 65 countries were submitted to the Fund’s Guarantee Scheme and Innovation Accelerator programme from 2016 to 2020, and over 120 partnership opportunities have been facilitated to support the projects.
The MBRIF currently has 43 members, 25 of which are headquartered in the UAE, and are supported by 30 specialists from various sectors. Additionally, in the same period, members of the fund collected AED171.9 million.
MoF also published a comprehensive report that reviewed the MBRIF’s achievements over the past three years and highlighted the strategic indicators and objectives of the fund as well as the projects it implemented.
In the 2019 GITEX future stars, two MBRIF member companies won prizes: Key2enable, a start-up that provides innovative solutions for People of Determination, won first prize in the Supernova 2019 challenge, and Pure Harvest, the UAE-based agri-tech start-up won the accolade of best GCC, Middle East and North Africa start-up.
The Guarantee Scheme was launched in 2016 to support innovators and the entrepreneurial market, by offering an effective tool that meets their needs. MoF pays the debts due on behalf of the innovators in case of default on the loan, as the programme aims to bridge the AED2 billion financing gap.
The Innovation Accelerator programme was launched in 2018 to provide non-financial support to meet the needs of the innovation system, build a culture of innovation in the country and refine the high potential of innovators from all over the world – to attract talent and focus on the tangible positive impact it has on the UAE’s economy.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, launched the Fund in 2016, which is worth AED2 billion.
© Copyright Emirates News Agency (WAM) 2020.