HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched the ‘Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation’ today, worth AED 2 billion. The Fund is designed to provide financing solutions for innovators across various sectors within the UAE, and support them in transforming ideas and suggestions into innovation projects which will contribute to the country’s national innovation strategy and to achieving the UAE Vision 2021.
The “Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation” is a federal government initiative represented by the Ministry of Finance (MoF). The Fund has been established to enhance funding opportunities in areas of innovation, by providing reasonable funding to entrepreneurial innovators and guaranteeing access to the commercial loans required to finance their projects. The Fund will also contribute to creating a supportive environment for innovation through the collaboration of various financial institutions and funding entities within the UAE, including commercial banks, investment funds, family businesses and other funding entities.
The announcement of the Fund’s launch was made during a conference, ‘Financing Innovation and Innovative Financing’, which was hosted by the Ministry of Finance at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown hotel, today. The conference was held in the presence of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the UAE Minister of Finance; HE Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; in addition to a number of ministers and heads of local federal entities. HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF and Their Excellencies the Assistant Undersecretaries, heads of departments and employees also attended the conference, on behalf of MoF.
The conference, which was held as part of the Ministry’s participation in ‘UAE Innovation Week’, included two sessions led by Dr. Andreas Klasen, Professor of Law and Economics at the University of Offenburg, Germany, and member of the International Advisory Board of the Executive Committee in Germany; on financing innovation and innovative financing, as well as the role of government entities in providing a suitable environment for innovation. Both sessions were attended by HE Younis Haji Al Khoori, Undersecretary of MoF, and tunnelling technology expert Dr. Martin Herrenknecht, an award-winning entrepreneur and Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Herrenknecht.
The sessions were also attended by Yann Ballet, Head of Project and Structured Finance at Airbus Group, one of the participants from the Shariah Compliant Fund, which was established in collaboration with the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) in the field of aircraft leasing and Mr. Craig Moore, Founder and CEO of Beehive, the UAE’s first online marketplace for peer-to-peer financing, and previously the Founder and COO of IBM’s data analysis and migration software company, Butterfly Software.