Monday 18 June 2018

18 candidates vie for $100m Expo Live fund

DUBAI, August 16, 2017

Eighteen social entrepreneurs and start-ups from 16 countries with innovative solutions tackling a wide range of human challenges pitched their projects vying for a share of $100 million funding from Expo Live in Dubai, UAE.

Expo Live is an innovation and partnership programme launched by Expo 2020 Dubai to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving the planet.

Through its flagship Innovation Impact Grants Programme, the initiative awards grants of up to $100,000 to support the growth of social enterprises, start-ups and grassroots projects around the world.

The second cycle of the programme attracted more than 500 applicants from 86 countries from different corners of the world, with the 18 finalists this week spending three days in Dubai fine-tuning their pitches and networking with other finalists, plus representatives from Expo 2020 Dubai and its partners.

Earlier this year, the first round of grant recipients was announced following a similar process, with 29 projects from 22 countries receiving Innovation Impact Grants, including three from the UAE.

This week’s sessions culminated with pitches to evaluation panels made up of Expo Live representatives and experts from a number of Expo 2020 Dubai’s premier partners, including DP World, Emirates NDB, Etisalat, SAP and Siemens.

Also in attendance were embassy representatives from a number of countries from around the world including Afghanistan, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ecuador, Italy, India, Nigeria, Philippines, St Kitts and Nevis, the UK and the US.

The pitches and applications will now be reviewed and the successful candidates will be revealed later this year.

Expo 2020 Dubai’s vice-president of Expo Live Yousuf Caires said: “These past three days have been about connecting minds for the common good, and ensuring innovative local solutions are recognised and given the opportunity to develop and grow on a global scale.

“Through Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai is ensuring that innovation is promoted and rewarded, to bring meaningful change to communities which need it, and support the growth of projects that will improve lives around the world.”

Expo Live will offer successful projects grants of up to six figures (USD), which will be made incrementally depending on progress and results.

The programme, which was publicly launched in January 2017 following a pilot phase last year, will support the winning projects through funds, business guidance, promotion and acceleration of their creative solutions.

They will also have the possibility to showcase their work at Expo 2020 Dubai, which will be visited by many millions of people from around the world.

Expo organisers received575 responses to their initial call for proposals during the first round of Expo Live. This was whittled down to 29 winners.

Expo Live’s flagship Innovation Impact Grant programme is open for submission twice a year. The programme supports projects from around the world, whose solutions generate social and environmental value and are in line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Dubai will be hosting the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and the Arab World.

World Expos, which trace their origins back to the 1851 Great Exhibition in London, have always celebrated the latest in innovation and technology.

The third round of the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant will open for submissions on September 20. – TradeArabia News Service

Tags: Dubai | expo 2020 |

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