The Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO) and the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA) announced today a partnership that will provide support for startups developing next-generation technology to address challenges facing the next generation. ADIO is providing AED 15 million over three years to fund ECA’s Anjal Z programme that seeks to embed innovation in Abu Dhabi’s education sector.

Applications for Anjal Z Cohort 02 are now open to innovators from all over the world.

Abu Dhabi is investing heavily in fostering a competitive and enabling environment for tech startups, ensuring they have greater access to the support and funding required to succeed. ADIO has played a pivotal role in integrating the emirate’s tech ecosystem. Its partnership with ECA under the Innovation Programme will increase support for private sector companies seeking to innovate for regional and global impact.

H.E. Dr. Tariq Bin Hendi, Director General of ADIO, said: “The last year has demonstrated the potential to massively accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies and ways of working in the economy and society. Innovation holds the key to solving many of the urgent challenges facing us today and in the future, and we want to empower the bold ideas and pioneering companies paving the way for a brighter tomorrow here and globally. ADIO is connecting entities, resources and support from across Abu Dhabi to create an environment where promising startups and great ideas can take root and flourish.”

ADIO is partnering with ECA on the Anjal Z programme to instil innovation in the early childhood sector. Anjal Z’s inaugural cohort, which was completed in 2020, comprised global entrepreneurs and startups that were invited to localise their solutions for Abu Dhabi and take their products to a bigger market.

Upcoming Anjal Z cohorts will also focus on supporting growth-stage, global startups in localising early-stage development solutions. ADIO will support the selection and incentive award process and provide funding through its Innovation Programme, as well as facilitate the setup of the selected companies in Abu Dhabi. ECA will offer mentorship and localisation support.

Her Excellency Sana Mohammad Suhail, Director General of the Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA), said: "Since its launch, Anjal Z has been encouraging the values and culture of innovation in the early childhood development sector. The programme empowers global startups, entrepreneurs and innovators in this field to develop localised solutions and create new investment opportunities.”

Her Excellency praised ADIO’s efforts in supporting innovation and entrepreneurship in Abu Dhabi and its commitment to establishing strong partnerships between the public and private sectors. She commended ADIO’s commitment to investing in knowledge given its vital role in societal and childhood development, its contribution to creating more growth opportunities for Abu Dhabi’s youth, as well as its ability to enhance the quality of integrated care.

ADIO’s partnership with ECA complements ADIO’s successful initiative with Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, Hub71, to accelerate the growth of tech startups building and scaling innovative technologies with purpose and impact. Ten Hub71 startups were selected to receive more than AED 10 million (USD 2.7 million) after pitching for cash grants provided by ADIO at a Demo Day hosted in collaboration with the tech ecosystem. The successful startups specialised in HealthTech, FinTech, AgTech and information and communication technologies, reflecting Abu Dhabi’s commitment to nurturing a diverse range of innovative ideas and technologies.

Interested startups can apply for Anjal Z Cohort 02 at: