Dr Aman Puri, Consul General of India in Dubai
Dr. Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai, said the startup incubator hub's location in Gurgaon will seek knowhow and funding support from high networth Indians in the UAE. Image Credit: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News

Dubai: Land for India’s planned mega incubator hub for startups has been identified in Gurgaon, Haryana. The concept of the ‘I2U2 Centre for Innovation’ was first sounded out at business forum in Abu Dhabi held last February.

The I2U2 Centre is being promoted as one of the largest incubator programs for startups in the world, and plans are also underway to establish similar facilities in the other I2U2 economies - the UAE, US, and Israel, said Dr. Aman Puri, Consul-General of India in Dubai.

“We would like the private sector from all these economies to work together to address global challenges,” said Puri.

The project has support from the Indian Institute of Management – Rohtak and the Indian Institute of Technology - Delhi. “We are also looking at several Indian HNIs (high networth individuals) in this region to support the project,” added Puri.

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There are six priority areas for cooperation and investment among the I2U2 member countries – water security, energy, transportation, space, health and food security. “We hope to identify one or two priority areas among the six for this particular incubator in India. And of course, for the remaining four, we will identify areas for centres we hope to set up in UAE, the US and Israel,” the Indian diplomat said.

The I2U2 group, formed in July last year, aims to promote tangible economic cooperation among its members and mobilise private sector capital and expertise to help with infrastructure, decarbonise industries, improve public health, and promote the development of green technologies, among other things.

“We hope to open such centres in all four (I2U2) countries,” said Puri. “That’s the ambition. We are trying to get all the other stakeholders (private sector) on board.”

India and the UAE are also looking to build a virtual trade corridor to facilitate faster clearance of cargo shipments. The proposed digital ‘green customs channel’ will fast-track shipments between India and UAE. “Once it is operationalised, the virtual corridor would also include Dubai,” said the Consul-General.

G20 DIA Roadshow

Puri attended the G20 – Digital Innovation Alliance (DIA) Roadshow in Dubai, a program named under India’s G20 Presidency. The initiative aims to bring together the start-up ecosystems of G20 nations and nine guest countries, said Jeet Vijay, CEO of the Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology (MeitY) Start-up Hub.