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Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) facilitates the dynamic collaboration between startups, private entities and government to work on prespecified challenges relevant to our future. DFA combines startups’ innovation and agility with the scale of forward-thinking public and private sector organisations. DFA positions Dubai as an attractive destination for startups and entrepreneurs, and as a citywide testbed for innovative technology.

Explore our Cohorts

Each cohort represents a gathering of innovators and startups from around the world, working hand in hand with government and private sector partners in Dubai. Explore how our past and current cohorts have co-created innovative solutions to key challenges.

DFA Cohort 1

Cohort 1

Our very first cohort kicked off in 2016, with bold challenges set by the likes of Dubai Police, the RTA, Dubai Health Authority and the Knowledge and Human Development Authority. 7 government partners were joined by 30 innovation-forward companies, and 19 agreements were signed to continue work.

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Cohort 2

Cohort 2

Building on momentum, Cohort 2 kicked off in early 2017. 12 government bodies got involved in setting challenges that included faster biometrics and automated passport control, 3D printing technologies, increasing public transport uptake, and upping the ease of doing business in Dubai. 35 technology companies were chosen to answer these challenges, with 28 MoUs signed at the en

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Cohort 3

Cohort 3

Cohort 3 launched in the latter half of 2017, with 13 public sector entities setting challenges. 47 participating companies were involved in answering challenges that included technology-enabled community integration for refugees, a 50% reduction in crime rates, blockchain-enabled biometrics, a 75% reduction in Dubai’s general waste, and facilitation of autonomous transport, etc. The successful cohort saw 36 MoUs signed at its conclusion.

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Cohort 4

Cohort 4

Kicking off in in the first half of 2018, the emphasis of this cohort was on addressing solar-powered water generation and purification, AI-enabled approvals for passengers flying out of Dubai, AI and blockchain solutions for food traceability, and changing the traditional role of utility providers in the face of the 4th Industrial Revolution. 37 technology companies were selected to the cohort, with 27 MoUs being signed at the close.

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Dubai Future Accelerators

Cohort 5

Social media analytics for crime prevention, automated residence visas, robotics-powered lab tests and predicting the future of retail were just some of the challenges set for this cohort, which kicked off in late 2018. 40 participating companies were chosen to answer challenges set by 12 public sector entities, with 26 MoUs signed at the conclusion.

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Cohort 6

Predictive crime analytics and traffic patterns, wastewater treatment and irrigation, robotics and AI applications in energy, and mobility infrastructure were some of the challenges in the spotlight for this cohort, which started in early 2019.

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Cohort 7

Kicking off at the start of 2020, this cohort addressed challenges including mapping the future of education, AI-powered analytics for parsing research papers and reports, intelligent drone technologies, smart monitoring for public transport usage, futuristic wayfinding and augmented reality.

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