Khalifa Innovation Center (KIC), a strategic partnership between Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, Tawazun, Mubadala Investment Company, and Sandooq Al Watan, has received the first innovation incubator licence from the Department of Economic Development -- Abu Dhabi (DED).
Hosted at Khalifa University and open to all students and researchers in the UAE, KIC will now be able to issue licences to entrepreneurs growing their newly established startups at the institution. This is critical to enable startups to validate new technologies and business models, as well as engage in business activities such as attracting investors or engaging with collaborators to scale up and grow their businesses, while remaining independent. It also allow startups in KIC to start their journey in the innovation business by engaging in business acceleration activities with reduced financial and legal risks.
KIC plays a pivotal role in embedding and incubating scientific research within entrepreneurial business settings, producing promising startups and new companiesDr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology
The innovation incubator licence will support KIC’s efforts to accelerate validation and introduction of technology-based startups into the Abu Dhabi market. It encourages more young scientists and entrepreneurs in the UAE to apply and take part in KIC programmes in order to develop their ideas and inventions from concepts to impactful business opportunities.
Dr. Arif Sultan Al Hammadi, Executive Vice-President, Khalifa University of Science and Technology, said: “This licence is a great milestone in the journey of KIC, especially with the operation and management of its startup portfolio which is mostly founded on research discoveries. KIC plays a pivotal role in embedding and incubating scientific research within entrepreneurial business settings, producing promising startups and new companies. This is a new paradigm in the overall knowledge-based ecosystem in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, and therefore, it requires a new approach for including incubators like KIC within the economic fabric of the emirate in order to achieve maximum economic and innovation benefit.”
Mouza Al Nasri, Acting CEO, Khalifa Fund, said: “At Khalifa Fund, we’re constantly searching for new opportunities and identifying best practices to enhance the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. That’s why we’re extremely proud to contribute towards this strategic partnership that enables the Khalifa Innovation Center (KIC) to deliver imperative services to our startups and SMEs.
“KIC’s new capability to issue incubation licences is a monumental step that will cement Abu Dhabi’s position as an entrepreneurial hot-spot. The licensing process will provide UAE entrepreneurs with a multitude of integral operational benefits that will accelerate their validation process and thus empower them to elevated innovation levels and optimal performance.”
She added: “I’d like to thank Khalifa University of Science and Technology, Tawazun, Mubadala Investment Company, and Sandooq Al Watan for sharing Khalifa Fund’s dedicated efforts towards enhancing the UAE’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, and the Department of Economic Development – Abu Dhabi for helping to create this important milestone.”
KIC offers many exclusive services like training the creative youth and empowering them to transform the ideas of their projects into real practical models and develop them further to ensure alignment with the market requirements taking into consideration the possibility of promoting eachDr. Yehya Al Marzouqi, Advisor to the CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, Board Member of Khalifa Innovation Center
Dr. Yehya Al Marzouqi, Advisor to the CEO of the Tawazun Economic Council, Board Member of Khalifa Innovation Center said: “KIC’s innovation incubation licence will contribute to strengthening the ecosystem and would instill innovation and creativity especially for projects that are based on technical and advanced technology.
“Tawazun Economic Council will continue supporting KIC in its effective contributions to the development of a sustainable ecosystem through cooperating with strategic partners to empower KIC and strengthen its role in embracing innovative technology projects. KIC offers many exclusive services like training the creative youth and empowering them to transform the ideas of their projects into real practical models and develop them further to ensure alignment with the market requirements taking into consideration the possibility of promoting each,” he added.
Al Marzooqi expects this approach to creating various innovative projects will have a positive impact and benefit the national economy. It would also strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a global destination in the field of technical and advanced technological industries, as well as projects that can be deployed in other sectors in the future.
The first innovation incubator licence is recognition that KIC has fulfilled all requirements for an incubator to conduct its operations efficiently. This includes space available for inventors and entrepreneurs to receive appropriate training, including the ability to provide office space for newly established startups where they can run their businesses and develop their technologies. In addition, inventors and entrepreneurs will have access to technical expertise and scientific laboratories to validate their technologies and prototypes.
All of these services are part of KIC’s offerings to entrepreneurs. Moreover, KIC provides financial support and funds to startups and entrepreneurs who successfully engage in its boot camp, incubation and acceleration programs. Funding is aimed at developing prototypes, validating business models or any other activities that can help entrepreneurs scale their ideas.
Dr. Sami Bashir, Interim Director, KIC, said: “This innovation incubator licence means KIC has the required technical and expertise resources to support and mentor inventors, entrepreneurs and their startups to go through robust and successful innovation programs that are tailored to push technologies from labs to the market. Moreover, the nature of the technologies and discoveries incubated within KIC fit with the overall innovation strategy in areas such as advanced materials, health sciences, artificial intelligence, security and agriculture.”