December 19, 2016. Dubai, UAE – The Dubai Future Accelerators, the world's largest government-supported accelerator, which pairs top startups with the Dubai government entities allowing them to build, test and deploy solutions for 21st-century challenges has announced new entities and challenges for their next round.
The program, which takes no equity from the participating companies, provides flights, accommodation and office space to teams for nine weeks to let them focus solely on accelerating their prototypes, begins its second round on February 12, 2017.
This year’s round is growing, with telecom carriers du and Etisalat joining the program along with the Department of Economic Development, and the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (Immigration). Each government entity sets a series of challenges, startups and companies that feel they can provide solutions are encouraged to apply.
Local carrier du wants to use new technologies to improve customer service across digital and traditional channels. Integrated solutions that improve the customer’s journeys from discovery, and purchase to customer support is key. Increase adoption of digital customer interfaces by a factor of 5, and reduce operational expenditure by 50%.
Etisalat , one of the leading carriers in emerging markets, wants to reduce patient’s emergency room visits linked to chronic diseases by 30% over the next 10 years through predictive healthcare management, IoT, wearables, telemedicine and machine learning.
The Department of Economic Development wants to cut red tape across the government by 20%, use automated systems to increase efficiencies by a factor of 6, and reduce the processing time for receiving, renewing and modifying trade licenses by 50%.
The General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (immigration) want to decrease processing time during passport control. This can be through the introduction of AI or other software to decrease the need for human intervention. Using an international blockchain, they are also seeking to reduce illegal resident entry by 50%.
The seven founding entities of the accelerator are Dubai Police, Dubai Health Authority, Dubai Electricity and Water Association, Dubai Road and Transportation Authority, Dubai Holding, Dubai Municipality and the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority. These entities have created new challenges for the next round of startups to enter the accelerator in 2017.
Dubai Police want startups to consider how manned and unmanned drones can be used to improve policing across private property and public areas, use machine learning to create models for crime prediction, both online and offline and to better implement facial recognition into security camera footage.
As transport modes evolve, ridership on public transit grows and emerging technologies appear on our streets, the Roads and Transport Authority want to increase public awareness and increase adoption of new forms of transport, create innovative ticketing and payment systems and ensure legislation and insurance policies are kept up to date.
New technologies that can transform a utility provider's traditional business model of generating, transmitting and distributing water and electricity is what Dubai Electricity and Water Authority are hoping to explore.
Dubai Holding, the investment arm of the Dubai government, which focuses on diversifying the local economy, wants to deploy intelligent technologies and business models across all business areas and processes, predict stakeholder needs, and drive the evolution of the hospitality, real estate and entertainment sectors.
Dubai Health Authority are looking to work with startups who want to improve patient self-management of chronic disease, practice efficiencies and patient health outcomes 10x through the use of new technologies.
Education department Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority, want to develop a 21st century assessment system that supports micro-credentials for STEM subjects and Arabic and promote student wellbeing.
Dubai Municipality want to increase green building efficiencies by 50%, implement 3D printing technologies in 25% of Dubai buildings and ensure the safety and quality of all imported consumer and food products before they enter Dubai, and secure a 75% reduction in general waste.
His Excellency Saif Al-Aleeli, CEO of Dubai Future Foundation, said: “By bringing innovative global startups together with government entities in Dubai, the program offers them the potential to materialize their ideas and projects in a forward-thinking city, and play their part in building a better future today.”