Mohammad AlShamsi was declared a winner for his digital platform Nbnii. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI) and the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) have chosen 21 innovative projects as the winners of Pitch@MBRCGI.

Out of the 300 projects submitted, 21 projects were shortlisted at GITEX, while two projects were selected as the winners of the competition.

Mohammad AlShamsi for his digital platform Nbnii, and Nawel Mahmoudi for her innovation Value Grid, which uses artificial intelligence, have been declared the winners.

The two winners will join MBRIF’s accelerator programme, which is designed to enhance and develop entrepreneurial skills and facilitate connections with leading industry experts.

Nawel Mahmoudi's winning innovation Value Grid uses artificial intelligence. Image Credit: Supplied

The Pitch@MBRCGI, launched in September, embodies the Centre’s efforts to enrich the culture of innovation and collaboration in the UAE. MBRCGI continuously works to position the UAE as a leading global innovation hub, while also fostering talent from around the world.

The Pitch@MBRCGI initiative aims to support innovators in the UAE and provide them with the opportunity to present their innovations and ideas before a panel of judges and specialists. MBRCGI will also finance the winning projects. The initiative supports innovators to implement projects that will have a positive impact on society.

Motivating innovators in Emirati society

Huda AlHashimi, deputy minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs, said: “Pitch@MBRCGI has succeeded in attracting elite innovators and thinkers, who submitted more than 300 innovative projects, 21 of which were shortlisted, and just two of which were selected as winners.

“Motivating innovators and promoting efforts to cultivate a culture of innovation in the UAE, in a way that enhances community participation in creating public services, is a key objective of MBRCGI. Pitch@MBRCGI has underlined the significant role of community members in contributing to enhancing public services and quality of life.”

Accelerating projects

Younis Haji Al-Khoori, undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, said: “We are delighted to support a unique and impactful initiative such as Pitch@MBRCGI where entrepreneurs share solutions that they have created using incredible new technologies to solve serious global challenges. Two winners of this competition have the opportunity to become part of the MBRIF Innovation Accelerator programme that will help them enhance their business model, support their market entry and gain access to investors. Our partnership with MBRCGI further demonstrates our commitment to the UAE’s vision and support growth, diversity and excellence in the country.”

The unique accelerator programme focuses on innovation and cooperation and provides world-class services and training to members to accelerate their business, raise capabilities and expertise, boost standards, and create added value. Its objectives are in line with the National Innovation Strategy as it aims to help innovative companies realise their potential and contribute to shaping the future of the national economy.

What is Nbnii

The first award winner was Mohammad AlShamsi, who was selected for his digital platform Nbnii, which enables end-users to quickly and easily find construction companies and renovation service providers, based on geographical location and the time required to complete the task. It provides a service that facilitates connecting customers and service providers in a transparent and clear platform to inspect and renovate buildings and provide quick and cost-effective services in emergency cases along with the time required to complete the services.

Construction companies can use the platform to quote prices on projects. The customer only pays the service provider when they accept their offer. Once the project is completed, customers can submit their feedback on the service to help identify the most reliable service providers.

What is Value Grid

The second winner was Nawel Mahmoudi, who was selected for her innovation, Value Grid, which uses artificial intelligence and data solutions to analyse documents quickly and help users make decisions based on the data, which deploys technology to perform daily tasks, such as reviewing, comparing, and analysing documents. The innovative technological tool can analyse thousands of documents within minutes, and can extract the important data, compare it, and present its findings to users, enabling them to make quick decisions based on artificial intelligence solutions.

Technology-based innovations

Pitch@MBRCGI received a wide range of submissions, including solutions that leveraged innovative technologies, robotics, artificial intelligence solutions and virtual reality. Judging was based on a set of criteria, including novelty, replicability, impact, and communication.

A jury comprised of leading experts evaluated the shortlisted projects during GITEX Technology Week earlier this month. The participants presented their projects before the jury, which included Abeer Tahlak, director of the Mohammed bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation; Khaled ElShabrawy, government and small cities lead - Microsoft UAE; Shaker Fareed Abdulrahman Zainal, chief MSMEs officer at Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund and Nabeel Javed, vice president- Guarantee Scheme at Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund; and Patricia Keating, manager – Scale Lead, PwC.