DUBAI: More than 100 Expo 2020-backed innovators from every corner of the world descended on Dubai this week, coming together to share and exchange ideas around each of their uniquely creative solutions to some of the planet’s most pressing challenges.

Hosted in Downtown Dubai, the three-day annual Expo Live Global Innovators Summit is a flagship event for Expo Live — Expo 2020s global innovation and partnership programme that has allocated $100 million to support grass root innovations with guidance, exposure, and grants of up to USD 100,000.

Its 2019 iteration, held under the theme ‘Passion Meets Capabilities’, brought together Expo 2020s partners, experts and the extended Expo Live family to support the programme’s 120 grant recipients — also called ‘Global Innovators’ — to open new opportunities that work towards creating a better future for all.

“Despite being separated by thousands of miles, all of our Global Innovators are unified in their steadfast commitment to building a brighter future for generations to come,” said Yousuf Caires, Senior Vice President of Expo Live, who opened the summit on Wednesday.

“Our annual Global Innovators Summit represents a unique opportunity for grantees to come together and network, share ideas and learn from each other’s experiences as they continue to bring each of their unique innovations to life.

“Expo Live is proud to support their solutions in making this a global reality — fuelling optimism and proving to the world that life changing innovations can come from anywhere, to everyone.”

Grantees present this year included Unique Quality Product Enterprise — a Ghana-based, female-founded social enterprise that is helping disenfranchised women farm fonio, a highly nutritious wild grain that grows in harsh environments.

It was founded by Salma Abdulai who had grown up surrounded by the problem of limited land access for women to grow crops and create sustainable livelihoods for themselves. With Expo Live’s support, which includes media exposure and financial and technical support, 1,500 women farmers so far have improved their livelihoods in Ghana by growing fonio.