A Hub of Ideas
Dubai is already leading the world in a number of innovative concepts—they have plans for a Hyperloop system, a robot police force, a store that changes shape , self-driving electric vehicles, flying taxis, a space agency that will work towards getting people to Mars...and this is just the beginning.
Now, it's looking to continue that trend through a unique and innovative program that gathers the world's industry leaders with key figures in government in order to solve some of humanity's greatest challenges.
The Dubai Future Accelerators is an intensive nine-week program that aims to connect the most innovative companies with partners in the government in order to bring to life viable futuristic prototypes at a city-wide scale. Their goal is to actually test the technologies that could be the solutions to some of the challenges that plague modern society. "Our mission is to imagine, design and create the future by facilitating partnerships between forward-thinking entrepreneurs and the government using the city of Dubai as a living testbed," the program's website notes.
For the program, they are focusing on seven key opportunities of the 21st century. "This includes the application of cutting edge technologies like AI and robotics, genomics, 3D printing, distributed ledgers, biomimicry, and biotechnology, as well as new business models and ways of working," notes the program's organizer, the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF).
Together, these focal points represent the most pressing sectors that could accelerate society into a new age of efficiency, productivity, and abundance. Each of the seven sectors act as umbrellas, housing a number of opportunities for innovation beneath them.
Applications for the third run of the program, which will go from October 1 to November 29, are already open. Interested companies have to be familiar with the challenges defined by the DFF's government partners and then choose one they'd like to focus on before filling out the application form.
The challenges come from a number of Dubai's government offices, including the Roads and Transport Authority, the Dubai Police, the city's Health Authority, and the Department of Economic Development.
A City of the Future
In the official release, Maha Khamis Al Mazeina, Project Manager at Dubai Future Foundation, noted that the program is really all about setting a course and tone for the future: "The Dubai Future Accelerators program embodies the strategies set by the UAE as the country aims to lead the global charge to build the future, focusing on the strategic sectors that most affect people’s lives in the UAE and abroad."
To that extent, the program is doing a lot more than uniting governing officials with tech execs. They are inspiring the coming generations. For example, events held by the Dubai Future Accelerators will include members of the community, such as their "Masterclass" – a series of interactive workshops that are meant to provide a comprehensive introduction to some of the technologies of the future and how to use them to benefit society.
This isn’t about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. This is about changing the world. Today.
Other events will be less like classes and more like discussion panels, where individuals can come together to ask the best and brightest about their ideas regarding how to build a better tomorrow. Such sessions will be hosted by international experts and participants in the Accelerators program, and they will explore the impact that these latest trends will have (and are having) on people today and tomorrow.
"This is not a traditional accelerator. This isn’t about how to write a business plan or how to pitch your startup. It’s not about coding languages or search engine optimization. We aren’t going to tell you how to run your business or how to develop your website," the DFF says. "This is about changing the world. Today."
So, if you think that you might be able to help address one of the problems listed above, consider applying at the website by sending along a proposal, and if selected, you could be heading to Dubai to help usher in a better tomorrow.