Shaikh Mohammad has instructed government agencies to participate in the Dubai Future Accelerators programme. Image Credit: WAM

Dubai: Nineteen pilot projects worth Dh120m were signed at the end of the first session of Dubai’s Future Accelerators Programme (DFA), the government said on Sunday.

These projects will be carried out under the supervision of seven government entities within seven different strategic sectors.

Here's what department heads think about the programme.

Dubai Health Authority

Humaid Al Qatami, Chairman of the Board and Director General of Dubai Health Authority (DHA) said the authority has made progress in the first Future Accelerators’ session as it has already chosen three companies to achieve its goals in the field of Happiness Hours, Smart Intelligence and 3D printing.

He added that the authority aims to continue working towards accomplishing the goals of the future accelerators with the aim of becoming a pioneer among the international and regional organisations in future planning and innovation.

Roads and Transportation Authority

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), said the authority explored Hyperloop technology and the possibilities of applying it to the public transportation sector in Dubai.

It also examined Dubai’s readiness to introduce new means of transportation including smart self-driving cars or buses and selected three participating companies from the Accelerators programme.

RTA has also signed a memorandum of understanding with Hyperloop One, Al Tayer revealed, to conduct a feasibility study that would determine whether or not the technology could be implemented to link Dubai to other destinations in the UAE and abroad, and whether it would be economically sound.

The authority signed another agreement with NEXT Future Transport in order to evaluate the prospects of implementing self-driving transport means on-demand, as well as an agreement with Movement to provide mini buses.

Dubai Electricity and Water Authority

Saeed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO of Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), said: “DEWA is working with a number of government organisations to achieve the National Agenda of the UAE Vision 2021 as soon as possible, and improve the culture of the UAE government, and develop an environment that supports innovation, research and development (R&D), and shapes the future to benefit from international experiences, making the UAE the one of the best and happiest countries in the world.”

Dubai Municipality

Engineer Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director General of Dubai Municipality, applauded the Dubai Future Accelerators programme’s contributions to the UAE’s position as a regional and global leader in innovation and creativity. The Accelerators successfully implemented bold and innovative ideas, supporting the government’s objectives for strategic sectors, he noted. The programme proposed innovative solutions for organisations that can contribute to achieving sustainable development and a drastic change in approach for Dubai.

Dubai Holding

Ahmad Bin Byat, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Dubai Holding, said: “Dubai Future Accelerators brings the technology of tomorrow to our city today, and we are very pleased by the progress that the current start-ups have demonstrated in the first cycle of the programme. Through Dubai Future Accelerators, we are working with some of the world’s best and brightest minds to identify new and innovative solutions to the challenges facing businesses today, and to enhance our customer experience and interaction. We are quite pleased by some of the prototypes developed over the course of last three months and are looking to develop them into feasible and viable solutions for our group.”

Knowledge and Human Development Authority

Dr Abdullah Al Karam, Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director-General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), and Member of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation, said: “Dubai Future Accelerators provides a unique experience, allowing, over the course of its 12 weeks, for ideas to be shared and future opportunities to be explored. The programme saw innovative solutions being formulated — solutions that can shape the future of the local, regional, and international educational systems — which ultimately goes to realise the Dubai Future Agenda and Dubai Plan 2021.

“The challenge presented an opportunity to learn from the ideas and solutions that were proposed, and that reflect the rapid changes taking place in cyberspace — especially the innovative solutions coming from outside the educational sector.”

Department of Economic Development

“The Dubai Future Accelerators is an essential and important step towards consolidating efforts across all sectors in the country to achieve the national agenda for 2021,” said Sami Al Qamzi, Director General of the Department of Economic Development (DED) in Dubai, “The focus of the initiative on elevating efficiency in government services to highest levels is consistent with the strategic objective of the Department of Economic Development to achieve customer happiness through a highly advanced technology infrastructure and smart services.”

General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs

Major General Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri, Director General of General Directorate of Residency and Foreign Affairs said: “At GDRFA, we are keen on using state-of-the-art technologies to efficiently deliver our services, thus resonating with Dubai’s vision to build future cities and a future-centric economy.

With that in mind, we recently signed an agreement with Samsung SDS — Middle East and Africa, Ltd. in a bid to strengthen mutual cooperation and formulate programmes to deal with the major challenges and opportunities.”

Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (du)

“As an ICT provider, we continue to partner with the UAE government to further the UAE’s Innovation Strategy and produce innovative and intellectual outcomes via multiple initiatives like Smart Dubai, where we play the role of strategic partner to create the foundation that will make Dubai the smartest and happiest city in the world, as well as the Blockchain council where du is a member and is engaged in multiple pilots to test and embrace this innovative technology, and the Museum of the Future and the Government Summit of which du is the main sponsor,” said Osman Sultan, Chief Executive Officer, du. “This new association with the Dubai Future Accelerators will enable us to further our investment into the entrepreneur community and facilitate start-ups and entrepreneurs to put their knowledge and innovations into action here in the UAE through du.”

Smart Dubai Office

“How we respond to today’s challenges will define how we live in the cities of the future. At Smart Dubai, we are working with our partners across the city to ensure that Dubai in the future will be an efficient, seamless, safe and impactful city that prioritises happiness, defined by the quality of life and access to opportunity, for all residents and visitors. To achieve this future, we are committed to continually evaluating and innovating new solutions for the city to deliver unparalleled city experiences,” said H.E Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General, Smart Dubai Office.

Etisalat Group

Saleh Alabdooli, Group CEO of Etisalat, said: “Etisalat is fully aligned with Dubai Future Accelerators’ objective to achieve the goals of the national agenda and their vision to transform the future by bringing together entrepreneurs, government entities and the best companies.”