Over 750 global start-ups join SRTI Park accelerator

More than 750 individual and company start-ups from around the world have joined the Sharjah Advanced Industry Accelerator 2.0 (SAIA), organised by the Sharjah Research Technology and Innovation Park (SRTI Park).

The second edition of the accelerator programme is in line with Industry 4.0 and the UAE’s industrial strategy "Operation 300bn", a 10-year comprehensive policy to empower and expand the industrial sector to become the driving force of a sustainable national economy, by increasing its contribution to the GDP from the current AED133 billion ($36 billion) to AED300 billion ($81.6 billion) in 2031, reported Emirates News Agency WAM.

SAIA 2.0 comes at an opportune time when the world is reeling from the pandemic and innovative companies searching for stable places to grow. The SRTI Park’s accelerator programme will likewise transform the UAE and Sharjah in particular, as a strong hub of advanced technologies in research, artificial intelligence (AI), additive manufacturing, robotics, petrochemicals, agro-industries, healthcare, biotechnology, as well as clean and renewable energy.

"SAIA 2.0 was launched as a platform for start-ups to introduce their products and innovations to global markets while they forge on establishing local and regional partnerships," said Hussain Al Mahmoudi, CEO of SRTI Park.

SAIA 2.0 reflects the vision of Dr Sheikh Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, to boost the innovative sector in the emirate by attracting creators from all over the world, Al Mahmoudi noted.

SAIA is also in line with the UAE’s Unified Industrial Brand Identity, "Make It in the Emirates", an integrated industrial system that leverages advanced technologies and Fourth Industrial Revolution solutions to contribute to building a sustainable, knowledge-based economy, he added.

The UAE is ranked first in the Arab world and 31st globally in the classification of the "most friendly countries" for start-ups, according to the annual global assessment of countries' competitiveness and capabilities of economies based on science and technology.

According to a report by Magnet, a provider of specialised data, research and analysis on emerging venture investment markets across the Middle East and North Africa, the UAE accounts for the largest share of venture capital investment in the region.

Bold investment in the Mena region recorded $3.47 billion during the first half of 2021 and the UAE has accounted for the largest share of deals, with a share of 26 per cent of the total valued at $755 million, primarily due to the availability of more mature investment environments.

"The SRTI Park is already home to more than 160 emerging companies specialising in advanced innovative technologies, working in various sectors. They have chosen the techno hub to practice their activities and a substantial number of them have concluded investment deals with several local companies under the umbrella of the Sharjah Angel Investors Network (SAIN)," Al Mahmoudi noted.

SAIA 2.0 was launched in May with a total prize pool worth $450,000. Eight start-ups will be selected to participate in the virtual accelerator and will benefit from local incubation support and venture scaling beyond the accelerator program.

The most innovative winner start-up will win the grand prize worth $100,000. Start-ups operating in Advanced Industries, Manufacturing Tech, Smart Cities, Sustainable Design, Construction Tech, Smart Materials, Drone and Robotics, and AI applied to the SAIA programme. Applications to SAIA 2.0 were done online.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/964231


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