Abu Dhabi: The Tawazun Economic Council on Wednesday announced the launch of its Defence and Security Development Fund with capital of Dh2.5 billion ($680 million).

A statement from Tawazun, the government agency responsible for economic diversification efforts, said the fund will “unveil key financing and investment programmes” at IDEX 2019, which starts on Sunday.

Tareq Abdul Raheem Al Hosani, chief executive officer of the Tawazun Economic Council, said that the Council established the Fund in order to encourage the private sector to invest in the fields of defence and security.

Al Hosani said the Fund will play a vital role in supporting the private sector to meet the strategic needs of the state.

The Fund will focus on three main areas — strategic technology investments and intellectual property; strengthening innovation and industrial capabilities and development of SMEs and local companies — according to Abdullah Nasser Al Jaabari, chief officer and head of Defense and Security Development Fund.

Al Jaabari said the Fund operates a two-pronged approach model, through investment and financing. He said the Fund will launch specialised financing programmes in the last quarter of the year, and will announce the financing terms for each programme.

Al Jaabari said the Fund’s investments and financing initiatives will depend on the strategic significance of the project to defence and security, in addition to the project’s economic feasibility, and its developmental impact on individuals and the national economy of the country.

He confirmed that the Fund will offer the enterprises that benefit from its services a bundle of facilities which include loans at reduced interest rates as well as appealing long-term repayment plans.

Al Jaabari added: “We have ambitious strategic plans that meet the technical needs of strategic partners in the next five years, and have therefore started working on our pilot projects in 2018. At IDEX 2019, we will be announcing a few of our quality projects that aim to reaffirm the UAE’s position in intellectual property and franchises, especially in the technology sector.

Saif Mohammad Al Hajeri, chairman of the Department of Economic Development, said the Fund is an invaluable addition to efforts towards enabling and developing non-oil economic sectors as well as supporting the national economy.

Al Hajeri added that the launch of a fund dedicated to the development of defense and security industries is aligned with the emirates’s Accelerators Programme, “Ghadan 21”, which aims to develop partnerships between public and private sectors (PPP).