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UAE launches national program for supporting emerging, innovative firms

The UAE Ministry of Economy gave on Monday the go-ahead to the National Program for Supporting Young Innovative Business in tandem with a number of governmental, local and academic institutions as well as the private sector.

These institutions include the Ministry of Finance, Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Securities and Commodities Authority, Abu Dhabi Department of Economic and Development (Abu Dhabi DED), Emirates Development Bank, Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Dubai SME, Ruwad Establishment, Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (SHERAA), RAK SME, Umm Al Quwain Chamber, Khalifa University, United Arab Emirates University and University of Dubai. 

The program is launched within the framework of the 100-day challenge which is part of the third batch of the UAE Government Accelerators.

The Government Accelerators are a platform for cross sectoral government teams to address challenges and achieve ambitious goals in short periods of time, focusing on four key areas: NKPIs, Policies, Projects, and Services. The Government Accelerators will accelerate the implementation of projects, policies and regulations, and instill the culture of entrepreneurship and innovation in the government, as well as encourage integration between government entities and the private sector.

The program aims to offer a package of incentives and facilities to promote the growth of companies and their innovation capabilities for the UAE to better the UAE's ranking on the Global Innovation Index (GII). 

UAE Economy Minister Sultan Bin Saeed Al-Mansoori said the program will realize a quantum leap in innovation policies and initiatives for the UAE to be one of the top 10 world innovative states by 2021.

He added that the program is one of the most important initiatives launched by the ministry to build a competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation and led by qualified national leaders.

The UAE is well aware of the emerging firms' ability to innovate once the proper climate is secured, he added.

The program will launch in the coming stage initiatives to link modern emerging companies with governmental institutions and financing companies to offer all needed facilities and incentives, including business incubators, innovation centers as well as government and private companies promoting innovative products and services and exporting them abroad, he added.

The program is expected to have a sustainable positive impact on innovation mechanism and realize a fillip in the state's GII rating within the coming years, he said, noting that the UAE occupies the 35th position on GII.

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