Dubai: Tech start-ups from eight major cities in the world will battle it out to produce the best tech government solutions in a start-up competition called “GovHack Series” launched by the UAE Government.

The competition is part of the GovTech Prize, a UAE government initiative that has been running for the past six years. Winners are awarded at a ceremony during the World Government Summit.

The GovHack Series will first take place in New Delhi, Tokyo, Santiago, Jakarta, Washington DC, London, Berlin, and Cairo from May until December 2018.

The GovTech Prize is organised in partnership with the World Government Summit, Dubai’s Area 2071, world-leading business and government consultants McKinsey and Company, and in collaboration with the Washington-based start-up networking platform Union. The contest aims to find the world’s most creative tech start-up solutions to help solve global challenges facing governments

Mohammad Bin Taliah, assistant director-general for Government Services Sector and assistant director-general for Corporate Services Sector at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, said that the GovHack Series is an instrument that the UAE Government uses to support innovation in emerging technologies.

These innovative initiatives strengthen the UAE’s status as a platform for forecasting the future of strategic sectors, and an incubator for creative ideas from around the world.

“Launching the GovHack Series in eight major international cities is a new milestone, and a new achievement registered by the GovTech Prize in its mission to inspire individuals, governments and private entities around the world to innovate and deliver future-ready ideas,” Bin Taliah said.

“The objective is to motivate young minds, students and government employees from around the world to develop smart government initiatives, and propose technological solutions to address the most pressing global challenges. The prize also propels the most innovative of these ideas to international stage, presenting them at the World Government Summit.”

The theme for the competition is divided into four main categories: Governance and Resilience, Environment and Well-being, Economy and Society, and Future and Progress.

Start-ups taking part in the competition will be evaluated by a panel of experts, based on criteria such as creativity, impact on society, sustainability, scalability, feasibility, and prospects for commercialisation.

Winners from each of the eight cities will be awarded $10,000 (Dh36,700), as well as a chance to compete for the $100,000 grand prize at the final event, taking place in Dubai, on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in February 2019.

Winners will also have the opportunity to collaborate with their governments to implement their technological solutions, and will be invited to participate in a 90-day business incubator programme in Dubai’s Area 2071.

Global startup competition

The GovHack Series is a global emerging technologies startup competition launched by the UAE Government in eight major cities around the world from May to December this year.

Phase 1: $10,000 prize for each winner from the eight cities
Phase 2: Eight teams that qualify will compete for the $100,000 grand prize in the final in February 2019
Phase 3: 90-day incubation programme for the eight finalists

For more information, visit www.GovHackSeries.ae.