Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al-Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, has expressed the key role that innovation and technology play in solving the region’s sustainability issues.
He has also called on entrepreneurs to reach out to government entities in the UAE that can support their growth and development, and expressed the intention of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) to co-operate with the private sector and support the success of start-ups with sustainable business ideas and initiatives.
He made the statements during the Environment and Business Majlis meeting for 2018, which was hosted at the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s headquarters and attended by members of the UAE start-up community.
Dr. Al-Zeyoudi said, “Innovation and technology generate a wide range of socio-economic values and create jobs, and therefore, innovation is at the heart of our development agenda to drive our economic diversification objectives.”
He added that to keep pace with the nationwide drive towards innovation and to help realise the National Climate Change Plan 2050, MOCCAE pays utmost attention to fostering innovation among young people to ultimately create a widespread culture of innovation.
He explained that the ministry organised the Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) on the sidelines of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week last January, as a platform to connect young entrepreneurs and innovators with potential investors to forge business partnerships. The platform was a huge success, as participating investors expressed their intent to initially invest $17.5 million in the presented ideas within the first year, while the total investment value is expected to reach $45.5 million within three years.
Addressing the minister and participants, Majid Al Shamsi, first Vice Chairman of Dubai Chamber, noted that there is huge potential for the UAE start-up community to play a major role in contributing towards the country’s sustainability vision by developing innovative business ideas and solutions that can reshape the future and add value to society.
Al Shamsi pointed out that start-ups, entrepreneurs and SMEs are a key focus of Dubai Chamber’s 2017-2021 strategy, and revealed that the Chamber has scaled up its support to this fast-growing segment over the last few years. He informed participants of the various benefits of participating in Chamber programmes and initiatives that support start-ups and entrepreneurs, namely Tejar Dubai, Dubai Startup Hub, Dubai Smartpreneur Competition and MarketAccess.