In cooperation with its government, academic and private partner
Dubai, 27 November 2019: The Ministry of Economy launched a new plan to develop the National Program to Support Young Innovative Companies today, November 26, in cooperation with its partners including 15 federal and local government bodies, academic institutions and representatives of the private sector.
The plan, developed by the National Program for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the Ministry of Economy, represents the latest stage in the strategy to support young and innovative companies, with the aim being to stimulate national entrepreneurship and increase the number of projects in line with the country's innovation standards.
There are two main phases that have been devised to facilitate the program's development. The first is the formation of its Innovation Management Committee, headed by Dr. Adib Al Afifi, Director of the National Program for SME's and representatives of all partners that are partners in the program. The committee will work to activate the services and initiatives provided by the National Program to Support Young Innovative Companies and adopt mechanisms for membership of innovative projects through its partners.
The second phase involves the establishment and launch of a unified and innovative e-platform that provides an advanced mechanism to accept the membership of projects and create a state-of-the-art database. When operational, it will serve startups, enhance their communication with stakeholders, and provide training plans, events and exhibitions to increase the number of partners in the Program.
Last year, the Ministry of Economy launched the National Initiative to Support Young Innovative Companies as part of the Government Accelerators. The initiative aims to establish the first integrated system to support startups based on innovation and creative ideas and develop a package of incentives and facilities that promote the growth of these companies.
The entities that participated included the Ministry of Finance, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), Takamul – an affiliate of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, Emirates Development Bank, Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, Khalifa Fund, Mohammed Bin Rashid Fund for SME, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Foundation (Ruwad), Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa), RAK SME, UAQ Chamber of Commerce & Industry, United Arab Emirates University, Khalifa University and University of Dubai.
During a press conference held in Dubai in the presence of members of the Innovation Management Committee of the National Program to Support Young Innovative Companies, Dr. Al Afifi said that the agreed development priorities during the next phase include: updating the registration mechanisms at the program site; identifying the services provided by the partners within the program and establishing a mechanism for linking and exchanging information; developing a unified database that ensures measurement of the innovation standard; developing an improved mechanism for registering members; integrating members into the program who are registered with partners and granting them membership.
He explained that the cooperation between the partners to achieve this plan will include a number of integrated pathways, most notably the development of the innovation platform and the mechanism of accepting innovative members of start-ups; and will strengthen channels of direct and indirect financing, increase training programs and capacity development, and provide more opportunities for membership companies to participate in exhibitions and related events. Furthermore, he elaborated on plans to hold motivational competitions, develop policies and procedures, build the best available technologies in this field, enhance communication with the startup sector and supporting innovative projects and facilitate their business.
The Ministerial decision issued last year by H.E. Eng. Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansoori, UAE Minister of Economy, to launch of the National Program to Support Young Innovative Companies has identified the innovative activities as those that include products and services of an innovative dimension, consist with the National Strategy for Innovation and that add value to the knowledge economy. Furthermore, the scope of application of the program includes companies and individuals who carry out innovative activities.
The resolution also established the criteria for defining Young Innovative Companies, including that they should not be more than 5 years old, individuals' ownership should not be less than 50% of the company's capital, the definition of SME's should apply according to the standard definition adopted by the UAE Cabinet, and to be registered in accordance with the provisions of the Commercial Companies Law in the UAE.