UAE on right path to establish a culture of creativity, innovation - GulfToday

UAE on right path to establish a culture of creativity, innovation


Picture used for illustrative purpose.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) recently announced that the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), one of MoF’s projects that supports innovative companies, was named a champion of the World Summit on the Information Society Prizes 2021 (WSIS) under the Enabling Environment category – in recognition of its efforts to support innovators and enabling an environment of innovation.

Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF, and Fatima Yousef Al-Naqbi, Chief Innovation Officer, MBRIF Representative of MoF, participated in the virtual award ceremony that took place alongside the WSIS over the course of five days from May 17 to 21, 2021, and was organised by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

Houlin Zhao, ITU Secretary-General attended the ceremony, along with WSIS participants, representatives from governments, the private sector, civil society, academic entities, and international organisations.

Al Khoori noted that the UAE has taken qualitative steps to establish a culture of creativity and innovation, support innovators, and spur the business sector within the country – which have contributed to elevating its position on global competitiveness indices and achieving its vision to become among the most innovative governments in the world.

He said: “The selection of the MBRIF as a champion of the Enabling Environment category is a new achievement for the UAE, and is a testament to the country’s continuous efforts to improve IT and innovation to serve all vital sectors. This comes within the country’s endeavours to support the quality of life and enhance the UAE’s contributions to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.”

His Excellency added: “The Ministry of Finance will continue to support and encourage creativity and innovation by adopting strategies, plans and programmes that support innovation, to enable people to face future challenges and growing requirements. The MBRIF continued to provide the required support to all innovators, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, in order to enhance their ability to face the repercussions of the crisis, ensure their financial stability, and continue to achieve sustainable economic and financial growth for our nation.”

In her speech during the award ceremony, Fatima Yousef Al-Naqbi thanked the ITU for choosing the MBRIF as a champion of the Enabling Environment category. Al-Naqbi said: “Winning this award is a testimony to MBRIF’s efforts to continuously empower innovative businesses by providing them access to tailored financial and non-financial resources, expert mentorship, networking options and affordable funding.”

Al-Naqbi added: “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank, Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund members, advisory and experts committee and partners for always supporting us, as well as the entire MBRIF team who works constantly and passionately towards achieving the innovation agenda of the UAE.”

The MBRIF team participated in the UAE session during the WSIS 2021 to review the MBRIF experience in supporting various innovators from around the world. Fatima Yousef Al-Naqbi presented a working paper on the Fund’s goals, programmes and its milestone achievements.

Since its launch in 2016, more than 930 applications from 65 countries were submitted to the Fund’s Guarantee Scheme and Innovation Accelerator programme. The MBRIF currently has 61 members; and backed by the support of specialists from various sectors, several member companies could expand their operations and enhance their revenues, and many of them have won distinguished awards in their business sectors and received financing exceeding Dhs 187 million. The community of the MBRIF members includes a wide range of companies that are diverse in their sectors of business and expertise, and 52% of them work in the technology field.

The UAE participated in the WSIS activities as the platinum sponsor of the event, and to shed light on what the UAE has achieved in the field of digital transformation, communications and IT sector.

The Ministry of Finance (MoF) organised and hosted a virtual programme in February under the slogan ’Innovation and Public Wealth.’ The UAE innovation month is a national annual event that aims to instil and spread the culture of innovation, build and elevate national talent and capabilities, and motivate government entities, the private sector and individuals to adopt innovation.

In the programme,  Younis Haji Al Khoori said: “The UAE is one of the first countries in the region and the world to be up to date with technological developments, and lead in innovation. Recently, the Hope Probe arrived to Mars – a new historic and global achievement attained by the UAE, one that showcases the country’s pursuit to devise the tools of the future and innovate its technologies.

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