Be the region's focal point for innovation... and for venture capital to pick up the next round of winners. The DIFC's Innovation Hub is scoring major wins. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: Dubai International Financial Centre's 'innovation' mandate has been expanded, with venture capital firms now able to access subsidised licensing and able to set up operations within weeks.

In addition to being considered by the DIFC FinTech Fund, venture capital firms from DIFC and elsewhere in the region are using the DIFC Innovation Hub to identify businesses for future investments. These moves are paying off with the UAE accounting for over 60 per cent of funds raised in the Middle East and North Africa for VC-related funds and "validating" the potential for DIFC based start-ups to access funding.

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More than 250 firms are able to work together to develop and introduce solutions and business models. The Innovation Hub provides access to "best-in-class" learning for under-graduates, post-graduates and executives through the DIFC Academy. The DIFC Academy’s four schools will be able to graduate up to 25,000 students a year. 

Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “Emerging and anticipated requirements of individuals and companies requires the industry to do things differently. The COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated these needs.

"The DIFC Innovation Hub is positioning DIFC as the leading next-generation financial hub, whilst providing security and stability."