Twenty-four global technology start-ups focused on sustainability will compete in the UAE next month as part of the Ministry of the Industry and Advanced Technology’s new Make it in the Emirates competition.
Participating companies will be able to pitch their technologies and connect with investors and experts during the competition, which has been launched in the run-up to the Cop28 climate conference set to take place in the UAE later this year, the ministry said on Tuesday.
The competition, which will be held from May 31 to June 1, seeks to support technology start-ups with sustainability-related innovations that can transform existing and future industries.
As part of the initiative, the start-ups will be offered a platform where they can meet investors and network with policymakers and industry partners, MoIAT said.
Start-ups today have “the power to disrupt entire industries and rewrite the playbook”, said Tariq Al Hashimi, director of advanced technology adoption and development at the MoIAT.
“These start-ups also have promising solutions for some of the world’s most pressing issues including climate change. However, access to funding and other enablers remains a huge challenge for start-ups all over the world.
“That is why the Ministry of Industry and Advanced Technology is leveraging the Make it in the Emirates Forum as platform to provide promising tech-driven, sustainability-focused companies with a stage … to pitch, learn and connect.”
The UAE will host the UN Cop28 summit from November 30 to December 12. Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, the UAE special envoy for climate change and the Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, has urged for an inclusive participation at the crucial 13-day talks in November.
The meeting of heads of state, finance and business leaders, and members of civil society, will take stock of what has been achieved since the Paris Agreement signed in 2015.
The Emirates, which seeks to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, has announced several initiatives in the build up to the climate conference.
Earlier this month, the MoIAT revealed plans for a UAE Climate Tech forum, also to be held next month, in Abu Dhabi, to address the urgent need to decarbonise at-scale and deliver climate action while enabling socio-economic growth.
The latest competition is one of several initiatives launched under the Make it in the Emirates umbrella. The programme, which was launched by the MoIAT last year, aims to attract investors, industrialists and innovators to the UAE to benefit from the country’s competitive advantages.
“Start-ups participating in the competition will be able to access unique investment and collaboration opportunities, as well as get exposed to a suite of incentives offered by the UAE’s advanced technology ecosystem,” Mr Al Hashimi said.
Applications for the competition close on May 5, the ministry said.
The judging panel will include representatives from Aspire, Edge Group, Mohamed Bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence, Technology Innovation Institute, Dubai Industrial City, UAE University and Strata.