As part of its commitment to implement the Innovation Attraction Programme (IAP) launched by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, and Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline & Group, Dubai SME, the agency of Dubai Economy mandated to develop the small and medium enterprise (SME) sector, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE), to share knowledge and co-operate on encouraging innovation, local entrepreneurship, and economic development.
The MoU was signed recently in the presence of Abdul Baset Al Janahi, CEO of Dubai SME, and Ahmad Alkhallafi, Managing Director of HPE UAE.
The Innovation Attraction Programme seeks to enhance the emirate's position as a global hub for innovative technologies and solutions. The programme, designed and implemented by Dubai SME, aims to attract more than 25,000 innovative and emerging companies from around the world, and focuses on innovative solutions in six major sectors including space, transportation and mobility, energy efficiency, medicine and health, education, and information technology. The programme would contribute significantly to realising the vision of Dubai and the Dubai SME Plan 2021 - part of the Dubai Plan 2021 - to enhance SME leadership and competitiveness through innovation and creating high-growth economic opportunities.
The partnership with HPE will eventually enable Dubai SME to refer potential and innovative companies to the ‘HPE Digital Life Garage’ as well as extend the benefits of HPE’s expertise and facilities to promising tech enterprises. HPE, in turn, will leverage IAP to attract and promote emerging technology companies and innovative SMEs.
Al Janahi said: “SMEs are the backbone of the economy in Dubai. We at Dubai SME aim to promote support SME leadership in all sectors in line with the directives of our leadership to create an environment that relies on innovation, thus allowing emerging companies to overcome various challenges, pursue sustainable growth, and translate creative ideas into successful enterprise, which brings added value to the national economy.”
Al Janahi added: “The MoU with HPE reflects our efforts as well as their importance in promoting the objectives of the Innovation Attraction Programme, which links local SMEs with a global ecosystem capable of facing the challenges of creating and developing a new market. It is also considered a two-way street, as it primarily paves the way for SMEs to be global in nature and directs most prominent innovators from around the world to new markets through Dubai.”
Alkhallafi commented: “The partnership with Dubai SME reflects our commitment to support innovation, which was recently embodied through the launch of HPE Digital Life Garage by His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC).
HPE Digital Life Garage is a first-of-its-kind investment, which contributes to accelerating growth regionally and globally by providing customised digital solutions. We are confident in our ability to support the business community in the country, especially SMEs, which constitute an important economic pillar and resource for the UAE.”
Dubai SME will also use its internal network and partnership to promote HPE and its Digital Life Garage within the Government of Dubai and the SME ecosystem in the emirate. In addition, it will provide its network and contacts to assist in the development of prototypes applicable to real products and business opportunities, as well as conduct an evaluation of SME concepts better placed to benefit from HPE Digital Life Garage.
As part of the MoU HPE Middle East will provide SMEs with space and time at the HPE Digital Life Garage’s Digital Life Lab, allowing them to develop, test-bed and demonstrate specific models or solutions that meet customer requirements. HPE will also link SMEs in Dubai with global start-ups with similar aspirations and enable them to benefit from a network of universities and research centres around the world.