Moonshot group
The UAE Government launched the ‘Moonshot Pilot Grant’, aiming to enlist experts globally. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The UAE Government launched the ‘Moonshot Pilot Grant’, aiming to enlist experts globally, to help develop and implement innovative ideas and projects to improve public sector initiatives and enhance the country’s readiness for the future.

The UAE government is looking for applicants for its new public sector innovation fund, the Moonshot Pilot Grant, offering up to $100,000 (Dh367,800) per pilot that will facilitate testing of potential government initiatives and accelerate their development and implementation in the public sector.

The grant was unveiled during the Moonshot Apprenticeship Programme graduation event, implemented by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI), where graduates presented their solutions and ideas to key ministers and representatives of the UAE government.

The ceremony was attended by UAE ministers including Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Dr Ahmed bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises; Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future; Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology; as well as Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

Other dignitaries included Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs; Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; Saeed Al Eter, Chair of the UAE Government Media Office; and Majid Sultan Al-Mismar, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Digital Government.

Readiness towards a better future


Huda Al Hashimi confirmed the UAE Government’s vision in adopting a regenerative framework that is based on innovation and an advanced work model to enhance government’s agility and readiness towards a better future. Al Hashimi said: “The Moonshot Pilot Grant will create a supportive environment for innovation in governments by defining objectives, developing a general project structure, and setting achievable targets; in line with the ‘Principles of the 50’, aiming to build a new generation of young talents and create a knowledge-based economy.”

The MBRCGI’s Moonshot grant supports the UAE’s vision to enhance the country’s competitiveness and promote its status as the capital for talents and future for the next 50 years. The grant will fund projects related to the government sector, such as data, govtech, economy, global outreach and global talent.

Potential applicants will be able to submit their ideas and projects via the GIC website:

Testing innovative ideas

The Moonshot Pilot Grant will also enable governments to build more sustainable and robust economies by facilitating new solutions to government financing, new tools to achieve growth, and smart spending plans for crises and emergencies.

MBRCGI is seeking top global experts who are willing to test their innovative ideas in the UAE. Applicants for the Moonshot Grant must demonstrate concrete actions that can change the core of governance and help create pockets of innovation that can be scaled to support governments. Concepts must be impactful, improve governments, disruptive, practical, timely (to be completed in six months), globally relevant, and implemented in the UAE.

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Top talents from across sectors

The Grant reflects the shift from traditional methods of developing public sector innovations to a world where top talents from across sectors participate from the idea stage to implementation on a national level. It also aims to attract high performing researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs from various sectors; contributing to find solutions to the most pressing challenges, through empowering them to develop and implement their initiatives.