Abu Dhabi, UAE – 29 September, 2014: Yesterday, Masdar signed a framework agreement with the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development with the goal of enhancing opportunities for Emirati-led clean technology entrepreneurship.
The agreement was signed by Dr. Ahmad Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, and Abdullah Al Darmaki, CEO of the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development, at Masdar. Together, the two organizations will explore areas of collaboration in the growing clean tech sector in Abu Dhabi and will work towards fostering greater business development expertise.
With a clear focus on enabling Emirati entrepreneurs, the agreement capitalizes on the synergies to be realised through closer collaboration, innovation and business development. It spans all relevant areas of clean tech enterprise activity encompassing different projects across Masdar, Masdar Institute and the Khalifa Fund.
Masdar will support the Khalifa Fund in developing its most promising clean tech ventures. It will also refer Emirati entrepreneurs to the Khalifa Fund and will explore joint funding of pertinent proposals. Both parties intend to help Emirati entrepreneurs expand their networks in an effort to foster greater business enterprise across the UAE.
The agreement also makes provision for Khalifa Fund related enterprises to enjoy significant benefits when choosing to locate in Masdar City. Qualifying companies are to be exempt from registration fees and first year licensing fees. This builds on an already compelling business case for choosing Masdar City, where entrepreneurs enjoy exemptions from custom duty and corporate tax, and full repatriation of both capital and profits. This comes atop quick and easy business set-up with a ‘One-Stop Shop’ for registration, government relations, and visa processing.
Dr. Ahmad Abdullah Belhoul, CEO of Masdar, said: “The clean tech sector holds significant opportunities for the UAE and for Emirati entrepreneurs. Our partnership with the Khalifa Fund will help further develop talent and add to a growing list of UAE clean tech success stories, many of which have started at Masdar.”
The combination of expertise and resources between Masdar and the Khalifa Fund means together they can further strengthen the spirit of Emirati entrepreneurship and innovation.
Abdullah Al Darmaki, CEO of the Abu Dhabi Khalifa Fund, said: “Building on the strong track record of both Masdar and the Khalifa Fund, there is much we can do to unlock opportunities for tomorrow’s business leaders. Working together, we will encourage Emirati clean tech entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses and contribute to the diversification of the nation’s economy.”
Opportunities for cross-collaboration with Masdar Institute’s Innovation Center are also included in the agreement. The Center supports innovation and entrepreneurship within the Masdar Institute, as well as facilitating the translation of academic research into commercially viable offerings. Specific emphasis in the agreement has been placed on developing entrepreneurial know-how through training, coaching, and follow-up courses in disciplines such as management and operations.
Companies that opt to base themselves in Masdar City join an already thriving business community. Leading technology and energy companies such as Siemens, GE, Schneider, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Gurndfos are already part of the city, alongside a range of clean tech small to medium enterprises and start-ups.
In celebrating success and raising awareness of Emirati clean tech enterprise, the agreement also includes a focus on encouraging entrepreneurs across the Khalifa Fund’s clean tech network to enter to the Zayed Future Energy Prize. Since its launch in 2008, the Prize has gained international recognition as a catalyst for innovation in renewable energy and sustainability. It has recognized more than 30 innovators and reached the lives of millions of people worldwide.