Dubai has announced plans to invest just over $270m in Dubai Future Accelerators, a programme for enabling rapid development of transformative technologies such as 3D printing, biotechnology and robotics.
The funding will support projects and companies that take part in what is thought to be the largest accelerator programme for government services in the world.
The programme is expected to be a major market for venture capital and an important place for the world to invest in innovation, says Mohammad Abdulla Al Gergawi, chairman of Dubai Holding and managing director of the Dubai Future Foundation.
The aim of the cash boost is to increase the attractiveness of Dubai Future Accelerators, explains Al Gergawi, who is also Minister of Cabinet Affairs and The Future in the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
He says it will serve to leverage the investment opportunities that will come out of the programme, its projects and emerging companies – locally, regionally and globally.
Dubai’s 250-square-meter Future Foundation office (on the left, on the site of Emirates Towers) was fabricated in 17 days with 3D printing technology. Image: HH Sheikh Mohammed twitter media.
The programme is part of the “Dubai Future Agenda” to develop 21st century solutions and initiatives around the world.
Seven future challenges
Dubai Future Accelerators, which aims to identify and deploy futuristic prototypes city-wide, is managed by the Dubai Future Foundation, who have recently invited companies and entrepreneurs around the world to apply and address seven future challenges.
The seven future challenges address themes such as:
– reducing water and energy consumption
– cutting traffic congestion and emissions
– using recycled and nature-inspired building materials
– genomics, medical analytics, telepresence and personalized medicine
– personalized learning
– reducing paperwork and increasing transaction speed in hospitality and real estate
– using integrated behavioural, genetic and biological systems for tracing criminals.
World’s first 3D printed office building
The Dubai Future Foundation made headline news earlier this year when they opened their headquarters in the world’s first 3D printed office building.
The fabrication of the 250-square-meter office on the site of Emirates Towers, took just 17 days using 3D printing. In this context, ‘fabrication’ means ‘making.’
The main 3D printer that created the building measures 20 feet high, 120 feet long, and 40 feet wide. It has an automated robotic arm that “prints out” a special mixture of cement and building material designed and made in the UAE and the United States.
3D printing is one of the technologies at the heart of Dubai Future Accelerators and the city’s building strategy.
In April, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, announced that by 2030, Dubai will be 3D printing 25 percent of its buildings.
The following video demonstrates the stages of fabrication of the world’s first 3D printed office in Dubai.