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Expo Live To Empower More Change-Makers As Third Round Of Grants Programme Seeks Creative Solutions To Problems

Tuesday, October 10, 2017
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Any one has a smart idea that could impact society or the environment, a creative solution to a pressing problem or a scheme that is changing lives has until 2nd December to apply for third round of Expo 2020 Dubai’s innovation grant programme, Expo Live.

The Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme has an allocation of USD 100 million to support projects with creative solutions to challenges that improve lives or preserve the planet.

The programme supports the UAE leadership’s vision to become one of the most innovative nations in the world by 2021, as well as a vision to diversify into a knowledge-based economy that supports entrepreneurship and creativity, particularly among youth.

Expo Live organisers are looking for ideas already at the demonstration and implementation stage that would not reach their full potential without its support. They could come from anywhere and anyone, as part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s ambition to support the growth of social enterprises, start-ups and grassroots projects.

Yousuf Caires, Vice-President of Expo Live, said: "The UAE is pioneering a path of innovation and the leadership’s directives to nurture this have become deeply rooted in our society, with a particular focus on youth. We welcome these young UAE-based creators to join Expo Live’s community, which already includes some of the best innovators in the world.

"We believe there are innovative projects within the UAE that would benefit from support and guidance to reach their full potential in the international arena. We look forward to supporting those projects, especially SMEs in the UAE and GCC, as well as the rest of the world."

The Expo Live programme has already supported 45 projects in 30 countries, providing them with funding, business guidance and publicity.

One of the successful projects from the first round of grants is Smart Labour, a UAE-based digital learning and smart services platform that provides voice-enabled content to educate blue-collar workers in their language and provide them with useful smart services to make their lives easier.

Smart Labour was founded by Abu Mouadh, who recognised that the 2.2 million blue-collar workers in the UAE faced many challenges due to the lack of and barriers to education, affecting their productivity, happiness and contribution to the economy.

The Expo Live grant has helped Smart Labour to enhance its services, build credibility and reach more workers.

Abu Mouadh, founder of Smart Labour and Expo Live grantee, said: "Through Expo Live’s support, the awareness of Smart Labour and our visibility on social media has grown considerably. People are now very interested to know what we are doing and achieving.

"This has helped us to grow the number of registered users from less than 1,000 to more than 13,000. We have signed up a major UAE company and are in talks with an innovation centre on how we can further tap into the potential of blue-collar workers in the UAE.

"All of this has only happened in the four months since we won the Expo Live grant – imagine what we can possibly achieve in the next four months and beyond."

Aman Merchant, CEO and Co-founder of Impact Hub and Expo Live Evaluation Committee member, said: "Expo Live’s Innovation Impact Grant Programme is already showing inspiring and exciting results. I am confident that with the support of Expo Live, the successful projects will make a real impact in their local communities, and potentially globally.

"I’m looking forward to being a part of the search for the next creative solutions that Expo Live can support to reach their full potential."

Expo Live will grant up to USD 100,000 to help accelerate and promote each initiative – with funding to be made available incrementally depending on progress and results.

The Expo Live programme was launched in January 2017, following a pilot phase last year. The second cycle of the programme attracted more than 500 applicants from 86 countries. After a rigorous evaluation process that included live pitches, 16 winners from 14 countries joined Expo Live’s community of global innovators, which also includes 29 projects from the pilot phase.

In addition, earlier this month, Expo Live launched the University Innovation Programme to support students in the UAE who have creative solutions relevant to the region. The University Innovation Programme is an example of the importance that Expo 2020 is placing on engaging youth and providing opportunities to ensure we harness and nurture the talent that exists, with the knowledge that our youth have a central role to play in creating a better future.

All successful applicants will also have the chance to showcase their work to many millions of visitors at Expo 2020 Dubai.

Expo 2020 Dubai will be the first World Expo in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region. It opens on 20 October, 2020 and runs for six months. Through its overall theme, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, Expo will be a platform to foster creativity, innovation and collaboration globally.

Interested applicants for the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme, who have projects that generate social and environmental value and are in line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, can find out more and apply at www.expo2020dubai.ae/expo-live.

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