x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Dubai Expo 2020 team launches €100 million initiative

A new 100,000 euro partnership fund to promote innovation was announced on Wednesday during the Expo 2020 presentation.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours Louvre Museum in Paris and envisages keen interest in the Islamic art pavilion. Wam
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours Louvre Museum in Paris and envisages keen interest in the Islamic art pavilion. Wam

PARIS // The Dubai Expo 2020 team yesterday launched a €100 million initiative to spur innovation and entrepreneurship.

The Expo Partnership Fund will support projects of any size and is open to ideas from any country.

"The fund will support projects of varying size, scale and stage of development but all with the same objectives of fostering a lasting positive impact for all of our communities," Princess Haya said.

"Dubai Expo 2020 will create a new, unique and meaningful legacy, an expo that will be an engine of innovation."

Projects, which can be at any stage of development, should be linked to the expo bid's subthemes - mobility, sustainability and opportunity.

This will allow for a wide range of initiatives, including ones involving energy, water, logistics, transport and education.

Details about the fund, its criteria, eligibility, its international selection committee and the application process are scheduled to become available on the Dubai Expo 2020 website next month.

Delegates at the general assembly were given details of a second initiative linked to the sub-themes.

But while the fund is concerned with innovation and entrepreneurship, Expo Live will seek to address some of the most pressing challenges facing mankind.

This project is intended to set Dubai's bid apart from those of the other candidate cities, with 21 critical global challenges for the 21st century identified across the sub-themes.

Countries, organisations and people around the world would then work in partnership to find solutions.

These efforts would start next year and continue for decades after the Expo ended.

Students, universities, entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized companies and non-government organisations would be invited to become involved.

Princess Haya said Dubai continued to seek new partnerships.

"I'm proud to announce that we have joined the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, which brings together public and private entities to deliver solutions to known challenges with new ways to collaborate," she said.

"The partnership with Dubai Expo 2020 will further expand opportunities to work with communities across the world."

All expo candidate cities are obliged to provide aid to enable poorer countries to take part, and details of Dubai's plans were revealed yesterday.

"Each country deserves the right and the means to showcase its very best," said Princess Haya. "We will make that happen with an assistance package of €150m [Dh732.8m] that will give every country an opportunity to communicate in its own voice in its own individual pavilion."

Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum said there was a long tradition of the UAE helping poorer countries.

"The Government has made lots of efforts to help needy countries and is still doing so," Sheikh Ahmed said. "This is nothing new, it has always been there.

"Partnerships create better lives around the world through projects and aid. They've done a lot to improve poor people's lives."