Masdar City and MBRIF to boost economic development in UAE - GulfToday

Masdar City and MBRIF to boost economic development in UAE


Top officials of Masdar City and MBRIF after signing the partnership agreement.

Masdar City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF) on Monday announced a strategic partnership designed to cultivate entrepreneurship and economic development in the UAE and at an international level.

The initiative will extend support to innovative SME’s, while also sharing industry knowledge and collaborating to develop the entrepreneurship ecosystem at home and abroad. An extra pillar of the partnership will also see the MBRIF Guarantee Scheme and Innovation Accelerator, support Masdar City’s SME development efforts.

Abdulla Balalaa, Executive Director, Masdar City, said, “Our partnership with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund is another step - and a hugely valuable one - on that growth path. It is our aim to not only cultivate entrepreneurship and economic development in the UAE and further afield but drive it and further it through the immense talent emerging from the region.

These are exciting times ahead and we look forward to the opportunities that Masdar City and the Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund can work upon together.”

For her part, Fatima Al Naqbi, Ministry of Finance representative of MBRIF remarked, “We look forward to working closely with Masdar City by extending support to innovative SME’s and to taking this partnership to even greater heights.”

Shaker Zainal, Head of Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund, said, “With this new collaboration, we jointly seek to help local, regional and global businesses by giving them greater access to resources, funding, and mentorship in order to succeed in the UAE, through our unique platform.” MBRIF’s partnership with Masdar City will include development efforts from post-ideation to scale up, as well as provide domain knowledge and expertise on matters of funding to entrepreneurs interested in the Guarantee Scheme. Both entities will also be able to utilise each other’s human expertise, facilities, and technology where possible.

Masdar City will refer community members interested in either or both, of the Innovation Accelerator and Guarantee Scheme, to join the MBRIF initiative, with the roles reversed for any entities enticed with Masdar City’s proposition to join its respective community.

Since the inception of MBRIF’s Accelerator programme in December 2018, the initiative has brought together 83 members from diverse sectors of the economy, placing an emphasis on nurturing, and growing local entrepreneurs to augment the domestic innovation base.

Masdar City is already home to more than 1,000 businesses, encompassing a variety of organisations - from multinationals and SMEs to homegrown startups - committed to advancing the sustainability agenda and spearheading the innovations to realise greener, more sustainable urban living.

Meanwhile Masdar, one of the world’s leading renewable energy companies, and W Solar Investment, a subsidiary of Alpha Dhabi Holding, and a development and investment company in the solar energy industry, have formed a joint venture company (JVC) to develop clean energy projects in a range of geographies.

The new company, MW Energy Limited, will act as a development platform, focusing initially on a pre-identified pipeline of projects, while also exploring new opportunities under the guidance of both owners. Abu Dhabi-based Chimera Capital advised W Solar on the JVC.

The shareholder agreement establishing the JVC was signed by Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, Chief Executive Officer of Masdar, and Syed Basar Shueb, Vice Chairman of Alpha Dhabi Holding, at a ceremony held recently in Masdar City.

Mohamed Jameel Al Ramahi, CEO of Masdar, said, “Masdar is committed to supporting the UAE’s sustainable development and to maintaining the nation’s leading role in the global energy transition. Having more than tripled the capacity of our renewable energy portfolio within three years, we are committed to extending our reach even further, by entering new markets and by partnering with other Abu Dhabi entities to become a global leader in clean energy. Through this JVC, we will be able to respond faster to market opportunities, extend our footprint into new geographies, and support more nations in their climate action.”

The JVC will focus initially on the development of pre-identified projects, primarily in Africa and in the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) region - Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Georgia - as well as other geographies.


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