DIEZ teams up with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to support innovative businesses

MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator will empower regional entrepreneurs to develop solutions for pressing challenges facing cities

Dubai strengthened its status as a major global economic centre in the first half of 2023. Antonie Robertson/The National
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Dubai Integrated Economic Zones Authority (DIEZ) has teamed up with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to launch MIT DesignX Dubai Accelerator, MIT’s first accelerator in the region aimed at supporting the establishment of innovative businesses.

With a strong focus on sustainability, the new accelerator programme will empower entrepreneurs in the region to find solutions for the world’s most pressing challenges facing the urban environment in areas such as water, climate, food security, and energy, Dubai Media Office said on Sunday.

MIT DesignX is a global innovation and business development hub based at MIT in Boston, Massachusetts.

DesignX Dubai will be guided by MIT faculty, operating under the management of the Global Growth Hub (GGH), a Dubai-based management and consulting firm specialised in fostering innovation, entrepreneurship and economic growth.

“DIEZ prioritises technology-driven sustainable development and supports entrepreneurs that offer smart city solutions to boost efficiency,” Mohammed Al Zarooni, executive chairman of DIEZ said.

“Through our partnership with MIT and GGH, we aim to catalyse the creation of revolutionary solutions that address global challenges while positioning Dubai as a hub for sustainable entrepreneurship.”

Dubai strengthened its status as a major global economic centre in the first half of 2023, as it continued to perform strongly across sectors from tourism to property, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, said in July.

The emirate's economy grew an annual 2.8 per cent in the first quarter of the year to Dh111.3 billion ($30.3 billion), extending the “robust momentum of growth” achieved in 2022, when it expanded by 4.4 per cent.

It is forecast to increase by 3.5 per cent in 2023, according to Emirates NBD.

“This initiative will provide an ideal platform for cutting-edge projects to flourish, showcasing MIT's unwavering dedication to addressing global challenges through innovation and entrepreneurship,” Hashim Sarkis, dean of the School of Architecture and Planning at MIT said.

With a global footprint spanning Hong Kong, Venice, Boston, Mexico City and Reykjavik, DesignX has nurtured and graduated 118 companies with a combined portfolio valuation of approximately $1 billion.

Updated: September 10, 2023, 2:13 PM