Digital economy in UAE eyes fast lane

The UAE has worked hard to build a digital economy, leading to tremendous progress that has set an example regionally and globally. The country's leadership has made it clear that the UAE's digital economy transformation is set to accelerate in the post-Covid-19 era, said Fatima Alnaqbi, chief innovation officer of the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) and a representative of the Ministry of Finance.

The MBRIF, a Dh2 billion ($544.4 million) initiative that was set up to support innovators in their journey from conception to realisation and expansion, now has 43 members, of which 39 are in its Accelerator programme and four in its Guarantee Scheme, and growing.

Alnaqbi said: "We will continue to identify and nurture local innovators and bring high-potential entrepreneurs from around the world. Regardless of where our members come from, they all share a passion for using future-driven technologies to solve challenges and make a lasting positive impact. We hope that the MBRIF and its members will contribute greatly to the UAE's digital economy transformation journey."

The MBRIF is a government-backed initiative by the Ministry of Finance that provides innovators with access to the tailored resources, expert guidance, connections and affordable financial support innovators need. It is managed and operated by Emirates Development Bank.

Launched in 2015 in alignment with the UAE National Innovation Strategy, the MBRIF promotes and fosters innovation in the UAE by helping local innovators succeed, while also attracting high-potential innovators from around the world to the UAE.

"Our focus is on seven priority sectors: Clean energy, education, health, space, technology, transportation and water. We believe that every innovator is different, and every business has its distinct challenges on their growth journey," Alnaqbi said.

The MBRIF has crafted two programmes to address the unique needs of every innovator: The Guarantee Scheme, which supports the growth of innovators by providing them with access to financial support without taking equity, and MBRIF Accelerator, which identifies, equips and supports innovative businesses to thrive in the UAE and beyond.




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