The initiative launches collaboration with Dubai Future Foundation to implement Dubai University Free Zones Strategy, support national talents
Sandooq Al Watan, an Emirati social initiative that works towards building a cohesive society, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) to become a strategic partner of DFF’s University Entrepreneurship Program (UEP) that aims to prepare students for the future by developing their entrepreneurial capabilities.
The program is part of the implementation of the Dubai University Free Zones Strategy, launched by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, in March 2019. The Strategy underpins Article 6 of the 50-Year Charter, which reflects the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, to transform universities into economic and creative free zones that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among students.
Under this partnership, Sandooq Al Watan seeks to help young Emirati talents participating in UEP through its programs The Emirati Innovator and Researcher.ae that support innovators, researchers, entrepreneurs, and startups in the fields of emerging technologies, engineering, and applied sciences.
His Excellency Ahmed Mahmoud Fikri, Director-General of Sandooq Al Watan, said: “Sandooq Al Watan is proud to partner with DFF to support ambitious national talents through UEP, which drives innovation and advances the development of a knowledge-based economy in line with the vision of the UAE leadership.”
He added: “We continue to empower UAE national researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs by funding and supporting them in their applied research and in developing their technology startups to enhance the quality of life and build a better future. These efforts help achieve our strategic goals of enabling Emirati youth with big talents and big dreams to contribute to the country’s prosperity. We are also honored to be part of the new generation’s journey of transforming their innovations and research outcomes into pioneering, globally competitive technology enterprises.”
For his part, Abdulaziz Al Jaziri, Deputy CEO and COO of DFF, said: “Our MoU with Sandooq Al Watan falls within the framework of implementing leadership directives to build synergies between the government and the private sector that seek to equip young UAE nationals with future skills, promote a culture of entrepreneurship among them, and encourage them to translate their innovative ideas and ambitious projects into reality by establishing startups that leverage advanced technologies to develop new products and services that contribute to the country’s economy.”
The partnership offers UEP members the opportunity to set up and grow their own ventures with The Emirati Innovator, launched by Sandooq Al Watan in cooperation with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center (Sheraa) to empower UAE national innovators, inventors, and entrepreneurs.
In addition, participants of UEP can now benefit from Sandooq Al Watan’s Researcher.ae, the first national platform that provides support, funding, and collaboration opportunities with local and international research networks, and keeps up to date with the latest discoveries in the global research community.
Since its launch in October 2019, UEP has signed MoUs with 12 local and international universities that include the program in their curricula, provide relevant guidance to students, help them develop their applied research skills, and liaise with investment agencies and business incubators to support their ideas and projects. The program allows members to use the facilities available at universities, including co-working spaces and incubators, in addition to offering a package of incentives to start new projects.