Dubai Holding’s 'Innovate for Tomorrow' is a global innovation challenge aimed at addressing critical sustainability challenges in the UAE, with a particular emphasis on fostering responsible consumption and production practices in alignment with UN Sustainable Development Goal (“SDG”) 12. Spearheaded by Dubai Holding, the challenge will be implemented in collaboration with TECOM Group’s in5 business incubator.

Introduction​

The United Arab Emirates (“UAE”) is committed to sustainable development and is actively pursuing ambitious goals such as achieving net-zero emissions and ensuring zero waste to landfill. This commitment reflects in its national strategies and policies, underlining the UAE's dedication to balancing economic growth with environmental stewardship for a sustainable future.  

In line with the UAE’s ambitions, Dubai Holding is committed to delivering an innovation-led and sustainable future. Dubai Holding is actively working to reduce the environmental impact of its operations and is committed to encouraging more sustainable practices across its value chain.

Objective​ of the challenge

The main objective of ‘Innovate for Tomorrow’ is to identify and scale pioneering solutions to help address key sustainability challenges in the UAE with a focus on responsible consumption and production, UN SDG 12. The challenge mobilises innovators to formulate innovative strategies in harmony with the UAE's dedication to environmental stewardship. These solutions should actively contribute to the nation's net-zero policy objectives, aiming to promote responsible resource management while steadfastly fostering the principles of a circular economy, as advocated by UN SDG 12.​

Key Focus Areas

The challenge identifies critical entry points within the responsible consumption and production theme. Proposed solutions should align with one or more of the following key areas. The examples provided for each area are not exhaustive; solutions can encompass alternative approaches or a combination thereof.

  1. Circular Design Principles: Prioritise durable, repairable, and recyclable product design, integrating circular economy principles.
  2. Resource Efficiency: Minimise resource consumption and use innovative technologies to optimise raw material use.
  3. Supply Chain Sustainability: Foster transparency, accountability, and collaboration to enhance sustainability throughout the supply chain.
  4. Eco-friendly Packaging: Embrace environmentally friendly materials and explore innovations for reduced waste.
  5. Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Reusing: Minimise waste across the product life cycle, promote durability, and establish efficient recycling and composting programmes.
  6. Consumer Education and Awareness: Develop educational programmes to raise awareness about sustainable consumption habits and waste management, empowering informed choices.
TIMELINE

  1. Call for Applications: Wednesday 31 January - Sunday 31 March 2024
    Submit your application.  

  1. Selection Review: April 2024
    Challenge evaluation team selects shortlisted applicants and finalists.  

  1. Pitch and Award Ceremony: May 2024
    The five finalists present pitches to the judging panel, and the winner and runner-up are selected.  

  1. Pilot Project Implementation: June - September 2024
    The winner begins implementing the pilot solution.  

  1. Investor Day Pitch: July 2024
    The five finalists meet virtually to pitch their solutions to a group of potential investors.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA​

We welcome applications from scale-up companies actively engaged in addressing challenges within the responsible consumption and production theme.​

Applicant Status: ​

  • The applicant is required to be registered in the UAE or in any other country operating as a company, non-profit organisation, or social enterprise.
  • The applicant should represent a scale-up company with a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) ready to enter the market or a scale-up company already operating locally in the UAE or globally in any other country.​
  • The applicant’s company must have the operational capability to execute a pilot programme with Dubai Holding in the UAE.
  • The applicant’s company should strongly promote diversity and inclusion as part of the values of the company.​
  • The applicant must hold a leadership position within the company, serving as either the founder, co-founder, or a senior executive.
  • The applicant should be at least 18 years old.​

Geographical Scope: The challenge is open to applicants globally.​

Industry Focus: The challenge seeks solutions to responsible consumption and production (UN SDG 12) that can be adopted and scaled in the United Arab Emirates. Innovative solutions should comply with all applicable laws and regulations in the UAE.​

Innovation Type: Submitted solutions can be a product, a service, a process, or a combination. ​

SELECTION PROCESS

  1. Initial application submission
    Online application form to be submitted.  

  1. Initial screening
    An initial screening will be conducted by the challenge evaluation team at Dubai Holding to select up to ten shortlisted applicants.  

  1. Virtual interviews
    Shortlisted applicants will participate in virtual interviews with the challenge evaluation team, including an online preliminary pitch, leading to the selection of the five finalists.

  1. Pitch and award ceremony
    The five finalists will be invited to attend an in-person pitch and award ceremony in Dubai (UAE), scheduled for May 2024. Specific details concerning the date and time will be communicated directly to the finalists.

  1. Virtual investor pitch day
    The five finalists will receive invitations to participate in a virtual investor pitch day scheduled for July 2024. Specific details regarding the date and time will be communicated directly to the finalists.

  1. Pilot project implementation
    The pilot project will commence with the winner, spanning a duration of four months from June to September 2024.

Selection CRITERIA​

The submitted solutions will undergo a rigorous evaluation by the challenge evaluation team as well as a judging panel, using the below selection criteria. These criteria will be consistently applied throughout all the selection process stages.

Relevance to UAE's sustainability challenges: Evaluate the extent to which the solution addresses specific sustainability related challenges prevalent in the UAE.  

Impact: Examine the solution's impact and its contributions to social and environmental sustainability. Assess its potential to contribute positively to ecological preservation and societal well-being.​

Feasibility and alignment with Dubai Holding business needs: Scrutinise the practicality and feasibility of implementing the proposed solution within Dubai Holding.  

Innovation and creativity: Assess how the innovation stands out and introduces novel approaches to addressing challenges in sustainability practices.​

Scalability: Evaluate whether the solution has the potential to be scaled up to have a broader, region-wide, or even global impact, ensuring its effectiveness on a larger scale.​

Cost-effectiveness: Consider the economic viability and efficiency of implementing the proposed innovation within practical budget constraints.

PRIZES AND OPPORTUNITIES

  1. Pilot project implementation

The winner will be granted an exclusive four-month opportunity to implement their solution within Dubai Holding, accessing a unique market opportunity. The funding for this pilot project will be provided by Dubai Holding up to a maximum value.​

  1. Access to TECOM Group’s in5 business incubator

The winner and the runner-up will have access to Dubai Holding’s larger ecosystem including TECOM Group’s highly regarded incubator, in5 for one year. This provides a supportive environment for further development and growth, including access to resources and mentorship.

  1. Access to investor day pitch

The virtual Investor Day Pitch offers not only the winner but also all five finalists a unique and pivotal opportunity to present their innovative solutions to investors. This event provides finalists with extensive networking opportunities within the Dubai Holding ecosystem. This includes valuable connections, collaborations, and exposure to key stakeholders within the industry.​

  1. Pitch and award ceremony in Dubai

The five finalists will be invited to Dubai (UAE) to participate in the pitch and award ceremony at their own cost. The ceremony will facilitate a unique opportunity for finalists to showcase their solutions in person and interact with key stakeholders.

  1. Mentorship with industry experts

The winner will engage in mentorship sessions with industry experts from across the Group and beyond throughout the pilot implementation. This mentorship ensures guidance, support, and expertise to navigate the challenges and opportunities presented during the innovation journey.​

  1. Cash Prizes
  • First-Place (winner): Cash prize of 50,000 AED
  • Second-Place (runner-up): Cash prize of 25,000 AED

FAQs

1. Who is funding the 'Innovate for Tomorrow' Challenge? ​

Dubai Holding is funding the Challenge. ​ ​

2. Who are Dubai Holding's partners for this challenge?

TECOM Group’s in5 business incubator acts as the execution partner of this challenge.

3. Is there another way to submit an entry for the challenge, such as email or post?​

All submissions for the challenge must be made through the dedicated webpage designed for this challenge here.​

4. Is the submission form available in other languages?

The challenge accepts submissions in English only.​ However, you can access a description of the challenge in Arabic here.​

5. Can I get an extension to the deadline?​

In the interest of fairness, extensions of the submissions period are not possible.

6. Do I have to submit my entry in one sitting, or can I save my application and complete it later?​

Before the submission deadline, please note that the application process requires completion in one sitting. Ensure you have all necessary information and materials ready to finalise your application in a single session. After the submission, no further changes can be made.

7. Can I modify my application after submitting if it is prior to the deadline?

Modifications to your submitted application are not allowed after the submission, even if it's before the deadline.

8. Will I receive feedback on my submission?

If your submission does not meet our eligibility criteria, it will not be further evaluated. Unfortunately, the challenge evaluation team is unable to offer any feedback due to the volume of submissions.

9. How many supporting documents can I upload and what is the maximum file size?​

Only 4 attachments of 10MB each or under in size are permitted to upload. The acceptable file formats for the attachments are PDF and PPT.

10. Can I include videos to complement my submission?​ Are there specific video formats that you accept?​

Yes, you are welcome to enhance your submission with one video link that you can upload in the supporting documents section. To adhere to size restrictions, kindly submit the video using a link rather than an upload. Accepted providers include YouTube, Vimeo, or any other service that does not impose an expiry on the shared link.

11. If I have technical trouble with my submission, who can I contact?​

You can send an e-mail to innovatefortomorrow@dubaiholding.com.

12. Are there any fees to submit my application?​

No, there is no cost associated with the registration and submission process; it is entirely free of charge.

13. Can I resubmit my application after a first submission?

No, only one submission is allowed. In the event of multiple applications, Dubai Holding will consider the latest submission as the final one.

14. Who can have access to the data I submit?

Your personal data will be shared with TECOM Groups in5 business incubator and will be processed in accordance with their privacy policy available here. Dubai Holding will process your personal data in accordance with their privacy policy available here.

15. Will I be notified when my submission is officially received?​

All entries received during the submission period will receive a receipt acknowledgement.

16. Will I be notified if I have been shortlisted?

You will receive an email from the challenge evaluation team to let you know if you have been shortlisted or not.​

17. When and where does the pitch and awards ceremony take place?

In May 2024, the Pitch and Award Ceremony will take place in-person in Dubai (UAE) during one single day (the exact date will be communicated by Dubai Holding in due course).  

18. If selected as a finalist, are travel expenses to Dubai for the Pitch and Award Ceremony covered by Dubai Holding?

The five finalists are responsible for covering their own travel, visa and accommodation expenses.

19. Can I attend the award ceremony virtually if I cannot travel to Dubai?

As part of the award ceremony, finalists are required to be physically present in Dubai for the event, including presenting their pitch to the judging panel. Unfortunately, virtual attendance is not available for this event.

Application Form

Instructions: This form will take you around 30 minutes to complete. Please read the terms and conditions of the challenge before filling it out and compile all required documents. Once you start filling out the form, you must complete it as you will not be able to save and return later. Deadline for submissions is on Sunday 31 March 2024 at 5:00PM (GST).

About the applicant and the company

Details of the submitted solution

Supporting Documents

You may upload a maximum of four individual attachments, and they should be in PDF or PPT format. The maximum file size per attachment is 10MB.
Presentation Deck: Please upload your presentation deck that summarises your solution. Include in the deck (i) a business and operating model/canvas, (ii) the feasibility of the solution, and (iii) the proposed plan for a pilot implementation.  
Max file size 10MB.
Uploading...
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CVs and Bios: Upload your CV and/or those of the leadership team, along with your bio and/or those of the leadership team and include an organisational chart of the company.
Max file size 10MB.
Uploading...
fileuploaded.jpg
Upload failed. Max size for files is 10 MB.
Video: Upload a word document which includes link to a video of yourself and/or the leadership team describing the reason why you applied for this particular challenge.
Max file size 10MB.
Uploading...
fileuploaded.jpg
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Additional Information (optional): Prototypes, visuals/data, specific implementation cases of your solution (if any), or testimonials that enhance the understanding of your solution.
Max file size 10MB.
Uploading...
fileuploaded.jpg
Upload failed. Max size for files is 10 MB.
Make sure to attach the required supporting documents.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

FAQs

1. Who is funding the 'Innovate for Tomorrow' Challenge? ​

Dubai Holding is funding the Challenge. ​ ​

2. Who are Dubai Holding's partners for this challenge?

TECOM Group’s in5 business incubator acts as the execution partner of this challenge.

3. Is there another way to submit an entry for the challenge, such as email or post?​

All submissions for the challenge must be made through the dedicated webpage designed for this challenge here.​

4. Is the submission form available in other languages?

The challenge accepts submissions in English only.​ However, you can access a description of the challenge in Arabic here.​

5. Can I get an extension to the deadline?​

In the interest of fairness, extensions of the submissions period are not possible.

6. Do I have to submit my entry in one sitting, or can I save my application and complete it later?​

Before the submission deadline, please note that the application process requires completion in one sitting. Ensure you have all necessary information and materials ready to finalise your application in a single session. After the submission, no further changes can be made.

7. Can I modify my application after submitting if it is prior to the deadline?

Modifications to your submitted application are not allowed after the submission, even if it's before the deadline.

8. Will I receive feedback on my submission?

If your submission does not meet our eligibility criteria, it will not be further evaluated. Unfortunately, the challenge evaluation team is unable to offer any feedback due to the volume of submissions.

9. How many supporting documents can I upload and what is the maximum file size?​

Only 4 attachments of 10MB each or under in size are permitted to upload. The acceptable file formats for the attachments are PDF and PPT.

10. Can I include videos to complement my submission?​ Are there specific video formats that you accept?​

Yes, you are welcome to enhance your submission with one video link that you can upload in the supporting documents section. To adhere to size restrictions, kindly submit the video using a link rather than an upload. Accepted providers include YouTube, Vimeo, or any other service that does not impose an expiry on the shared link.

11. If I have technical trouble with my submission, who can I contact?​

You can send an e-mail to innovatefortomorrow@dubaiholding.com.

12. Are there any fees to submit my application?​

No, there is no cost associated with the registration and submission process; it is entirely free of charge.

13. Can I resubmit my application after a first submission?

No, only one submission is allowed. In the event of multiple applications, Dubai Holding will consider the latest submission as the final one.

14. Who can have access to the data I submit?

Your personal data will be shared with TECOM Groups in5 business incubator and will be processed in accordance with their privacy policy available here. Dubai Holding will process your personal data in accordance with their privacy policy available here.

15. Will I be notified when my submission is officially received?​

All entries received during the submission period will receive a receipt acknowledgement.

16. Will I be notified if I have been shortlisted?

You will receive an email from the challenge evaluation team to let you know if you have been shortlisted or not.​

17. When and where does the pitch and awards ceremony take place?

In May 2024, the Pitch and Award Ceremony will take place in-person in Dubai (UAE) during one single day (the exact date will be communicated by Dubai Holding in due course).  

18. If selected as a finalist, are travel expenses to Dubai for the Pitch and Award Ceremony covered by Dubai Holding?

The five finalists are responsible for covering their own travel, visa and accommodation expenses.

19. Can I attend the award ceremony virtually if I cannot travel to Dubai?

As part of the award ceremony, finalists are required to be physically present in Dubai for the event, including presenting their pitch to the judging panel. Unfortunately, virtual attendance is not available for this event.