Abu Dhabi Competitiveness Office (COAD), part of Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), launched “Abu Dhabi Innovates”, a general framework to enhance innovation framework in the Emirate, which includes 14 initiatives.
The new framework is a result of studies done by COAD to identify improvement areas and major factors to encourage and incentivize innovation and innovators; analyze and suggest pillar of innovation ecosystem in line with ADDED’s efforts to provide regulatory and institutional framework to support innovation and research and development (R&D) in vital economic sectors.
H.E. Mohamed Ali Al Shorafa, Chairman of ADDED, said; “Innovation is an integral part of Abu Dhabi story, and being ranked 1st regionally in innovation by global innovation index in 2021 is a testament. Building on our achievements, we are launching framework for innovation ecosystem to ensure supporting and developing ideas and innovations into thriving projects and strengthen Abu Dhabi status as preferred destination for businesses and investments”.
The new framework focuses on five drivers including talent & knowledge, funding, space and places, demand, culture and incentives. It targets management and attraction of talents, technical talent, entrepreneurial company experience, building capabilities in technology and innovation.
To ensure proper channels for funding, the framework sets the policies facilitating capital to flow to innovation driven enterprises throughout their lifecycles, including government grants, bank loans, venture capital, crowdfunding, and business/investor angels.
As part of COAD’s efforts to support innovators and entrepreneurs in different stages, the framework will support providing them with an access to space and equipment required for discovery and conversion of the ideas to innovative and commercializable services and products.
The innovation ecosystem framework will provide incentives for public and private organizations to support purchasing and cooperation with start-ups especially ‘innovation-driven’ enterprises to create and increase demand on innovations, encourage innovators and entrepreneurs to turn ideas into projects. The framework also aims to drive a more entrepreneurial culture that celebrate innovation-driven enterprises.
Initiatives projected to launch in 2022 as part of the innovation ecosystem framework include enlarging base of inventors and entrepreneurs entitled for golden visa program, development of innovation fund Sourcing scheme, government and patent grants through Takamul program, unlocking patent support for Abu Dhabi-based inventors, enlarging the scope of innovation incubators license program, launch of innovation incubator guide, onboarding new makers spaces collaboration with international and local players, enable commercialization of innovations, marketing and showcasing inventions, launch of intellectual property (IP) unit, youth inventor program, Abu Dhabi IP awareness program and technology readiness level scale.
H.E. Rashed Abdulkarim Al Blooshi, Undersecretary of ADDED, said, “The launch of framework to enhance innovation ecosystem comes to set solid bases for suitable environment to innovators and entrepreneurs to implement their creative projects. As part of our efforts to ensure continuous improvement, we have studied the factors led us to major achievements in previous period and improvements areas in innovation ecosystem’.
“COAD’s initiatives to support innovation were welcomed by our strategic partners including innovation business incubators license program for businesses investing in innovative technical solutions and support the development of innovative projects, and to ensure that the right environment, the best resources and tools are provided to innovators and entrepreneurs to implement their creative projects,”
H.E. Rashed Al Blooshi added.
Last year, COAD’s innovation and knowledge department has activated various projects related to innovation ecosystem, mapped out the framework to enhance it, and discussed it with partners. It also participated in many programs and accelerators, evaluation and jury committees, and organized workshops to raise awareness related to innovation and intellectual property.
It also contributed to supporting partners’ projects to fill gaps in innovation ecosystem including R&D, funding proof of concepts, supporting commercial value of start-ups, and SMEs ecosystem map, golden visa project with Abu Dhabi resident office and supporting Advanced Technology Research Council (ATRC) programs. 955 applications to support patents were evaluated under Takamul program, aiming to support inventors and promote innovation culture in the UAE, 352 applications were supported and 153 of them were accorded patents.