Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s flagship sustainable urban community, has launched Tech Park, a new destination for startups focused on technology, sustainability and the digital economy.
The strategic hub will house companies receiving funding and mentorship through the Catalyst, the Middle East’s first startup accelerator specialising in clean technology and sustainability, as well as provide a base for research & development and other enterprises operating in the sector.
Yousef Baselaib, Executive Director for Sustainable Real Estate at Abu Dhabi Future Energy Company (‘Masdar’), said, “The launch of Tech Park marks an important milestone in Masdar City’s development. As a sustainable urban community with a rapidly growing clean-tech cluster and business free zone at its core, we are delighted to welcome the addition of Tech Park, the first destination of its type focused on innovation in the digital economy and sustainability.”
The working population at Masdar City today exceeds 4,000 with around 600 companies now operating out of the city, from global corporations such as Siemens, Honeywell and Lockheed Martin, to homegrown enterprises and freelance entrepreneurs.
Overlooking Masdar Park, Tech Park is an eco-friendly cluster of offices, hot desks and workshops made from recycled shipping containers. Current tenants include Safe City Group, a local developer of turnkey solutions for smart and safe city projects, De L’Arta, a UAE skincare brand whose products are made from sustainable and locally sourced ingredients, Solva Technologies, Mana Ventures and Al Hakeem Advanced Engineering Services LLC.
Besides offering a fashionably alternative work environment to young businesses and entrepreneurs, the Tech Park’s shipping containers meet Masdar City’s strict sustainability standards, having significantly lower embodied energy costs than regular offices.
Plans announced today to host the UAE Clean Tech Challenge, a global business plan competition for clean-tech start-ups, are expected to attract more businesses to Masdar City. The UAE Clean Tech Challenge will take place in November.
“Masdar City is the natural home in Abu Dhabi for innovation across the widest spectrum of sustainability solutions,” added Baselaib. “Tech Park allows us to build on the city’s foundations in sustainable urban development by providing access to the knowledge, services and capital all innovation-focused start-ups need to get to the next level – from within a thriving community in the sustainability capital of the UAE.”
“As development continues to gather pace at Masdar City, as more residents choose the city as their home, and as more businesses set up operations here, a genuine innovation ecosystem is taking shape. Tech Park is the entry point for homegrown innovation start-ups aspiring to be the multinational companies of the future, as well as a collaborative space for entrepreneurship in the new digital economy, undoubtedly a growth sector for the UAE and the region as a whole.”