Netherlands’ Innovation Tour to culminate at Expo 2020 Dubai - GulfToday

Netherlands’ Innovation Tour to culminate at Expo 2020 Dubai


An artist’s impression of the Netherlands Pavilion.

Sajjad Ahmad, Deputy Business Editor

As the Expo 2020 Dubai is approaching closer, participating countries and exhibitors are unveiling their plans and activities. The six months extravaganza, which will start from October 1, 2021, is expected to witness huge numbers of business deals. The event is all set to attract millions of visitors to the United Arab Emirates.

The Kingdom of Netherlands has launched “The Uniting Water Energy Food Innovation Tour” that aims at identifying and scaling up some of the most innovative start-up solutions in the fields of water, energy and food.

The tour covers the fastest growing innovation ecosystems in the world and will culminate at the finals taking place at the Expo 2020 Dubai in January 2022, according to the Netherlands Embassy in Abu Dhabi.

Launched along with Unknown Group, the tour will travel through the MENA, Asia-Pacific regions and The Netherlands. The top 15 startups participating in these virtual pre-rounds will be invited to pitch their solutions to the world’s leading investors, corporates and governments at the finals taking place at the Expo 2020 Dubai.

Lody Embrechts, Ambassador of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UAE, said, “Our partners in governance in the Gulf region plan to effectively achieve its ambitions to diversify its energy mix, become more self-sufficient with regards to its food supply, and secure the availability of fresh water for agriculture and consumption. These water, energy and food sectors will have to operate in close coordination, as a nexus. The inextricable linkages between these critical domains, water, sustainable agriculture and efficient energy production are critical if we are to take responsible climate action.”

In the coming decades, the world will need increasing amounts of resources. Population growth, resource-intensive lifestyles and the damaging effects of climate change will lead to water, energy and food insecurity across the globe. To be able to feed a population of almost 10 billion people that will likely inhabit our world in 2050, the world has to think about how to use scarce resources like water, energy and food as efficiently as possible.

The tour will be operated by Unknown Group’s label, Get in the Ring. Over the last decade, Get in the Ring has grown to become the world’s most global start-up competition with events in over 100 countries. In the last year over 25,000 start-ups from 109 countries applied to the Get in the Ring events.

The events in the UAE will kick off on 29th September and will be followed by several other events taking place in Asia Pacific (14th October), the wider MENA region (16th November ), The Netherlands (1st December) and in Jordan (15th December). Each pre-round will be held in a virtual environment where startups tackling water, energy and food challenges take part in five one-on-one deal making meetings with a curated selection of leading corporates, governments and impact investors.

The most impressive solutions will be invited to take part in the Water Energy & Food Innovation Finals at the Expo 2020 Dubai in January 2022. The finalist will enter deal making meetings and pitch their innovation to determine the ultimate winner in uniting water, energy and food.

MAPEI to unveil sustainable solutions: MAPEI Construction Chemicals, the fully owned subsidiary of the MAPEI Group to showcase its sustainable building solutions at expo 2020, supplying eco-sustainable products to more than 55 pavilions and 16 zones and 60 areas across the highly anticipated international event.

From its factory in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Italian building materials manufacturer has produced more than 200 eco-friendly building products from its 20 product lines including adhesives for ceramic and marble tiles, resilient flooring, sealants, waterproofing, concrete repairs, epoxy resin floor coatings, and cementitious mortars - totaling over 8,000 tones of materials supplied to expo 2020.

MAPEI’s manufacturing plant is strategically located only five minutes from the Expo 2020 site, enabling the group to incorporate a circularity approach to supply the mega project whilst minimising carbon footprint through short transportation times and distances.

This has also allowed MAPEI to increase fuel efficiencies, which has supported the sustainable build of Expo 2020.  

“Adhesives, sealants, waterproofing and concrete repair are some of the most commonly overlooked materials in terms of their sustainability credentials, and play a vital role in any construction or interior design project. Our products offer the highest standard of quality and durablility, coupled with sustainable best practice solutions, creating a safe environment for our employees to work as well as having an eco-friendly impact on the community,” says Stefano Iannacone, Director for Middle East and Africa, MAPEI Group.

With sustainability being the key theme for Expo 2020, this aligns with MAPEI’s green vision, to use modern technologies that create energy-efficient solutions and minimise wastage, accompanied by constant innovation.

MAPEI’s participation at Expo 2020 Dubai represents a new step in the collaboration journey with the World’s Fair. On a group level, MAPEI has garnered a wealth of experience; showcasing its innovative product portfolio in previous World expos, including expo Shanghai 2010 and expo Milano 2015.

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