Abu Dhabi University Inaugurates its Venture Lab to Elevate the UAE's Sustainability-Oriented Entrepreneurial Ecosystem
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 27 June 2022: In line with Abu Dhabi University’s (ADU) innovation strategy (ADUi), ADU announces the launch of its Sustainable Development Venture Lab in collaboration with Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). The Lab, open to students, researchers, external entrepreneurs and innovators, seeks to grow sustainability-oriented entrepreneurial and innovation skills through tackling complex challenges in industry, services, primary sector and the government. The Venture Lab will offer an innovative space designed to help spin-offs, startups, companies and government agencies find more sustainable solutions to create or improve daily operations.
The new Sustainable Development Venture Lab was inaugurated in the presence of Professor Waqar Ahmad, Chancellor of ADU, Dr. Alberto Peralta, Director of Innovation at ADU next to other senior leaders from ADU and Ms. Hala Al Ameri, Executive Director of Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi, part of ADDED.
The Lab will comprise of five different zones, located on each of ADU’s campuses in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain, Al-Dhafra and Dubai, to service a specific area of entrepreneurship. The Networking Zones will help connect innovators with the local community as well as investors, companies and agencies in both the private and public sectors. The Market Study Zones will support in conducting market and competitors’ analysis and studying business terms as well as the financial aspects of the business, including a Bloomberg room and business modelling labs. The Design/Prototyping/Fabrication Zones will offer training, technical guidance and tools to develop hardware, service, software, process prototypes and solutions in top-technology engineering and visual labs.
Additionally, students will be given the opportunity to work with international leaders specialized in these fields to gain experience in building sustainable business models. The Incubation Zones will provide innovators with spaces equipped with business phones and internet access, in addition to dedicated areas where they can present their businesses and prototypes to potential investors. Lastly, the Venture Lab assigned a team of experts in business registration to provide guidance to students willing to register their businesses in the Lab.
With focus on sustainable growth, research-based business modelling and networking, the Venture Lab will help projects, spin-offs and startups fix growth blockages in previously perused initiatives and enable innovators to methodically evolve new projects. In addition to influencing a courageous and leadership business mindset where failure is an integral part of the route to success. The Venture Lab will aid businesses and startups with business model growth, prototyping, customer discovery and validation, incubation and leading to a successful launch.
In line with the UAE’s National Innovation Strategy that seeks to position the UAE as one of the world’s most innovative nations, ADU aims to expand the university’s innovation projects to pursue outstanding ideas that address governmental, social, private and domestic needs. The Venture Lab will incubate selected initiatives from ADU students, researchers and internal and external community members that balance validated novelty, replicability, impact, fast response, proactivity and agility in tackling immediate or highly demanded solutions that intersect with economic, social and environmental concerns.
Furthermore, the Venture Lab will focus on empowering women, individuals and communities, including youth, people of determination and elderly, by mentoring and coaching them throughout their journey. The Lab is focused on hosting sustainable and innovative initiatives that will empower minority groups to launch their own businesses.
Dr. Alberto Peralta Bellmont, Director of Innovation at Abu Dhabi University (ADU), said: “We are thrilled to follow our leadership’s footsteps in creating an innovative and sustainable nation by launching Abu Dhabi University’s (ADU) venture arm of ADU innovate strategy (ADUi) in collaboration with the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED). At ADU, we contribute to the socio-economic agenda through creative solutions that address our communities needs and promote research and innovation. Through this incubator that we call Sustainable Development Venture Lab, we aim to nurture our innovators with the needed methods and tools that strengthen their entrepreneurial skills and prepare them to address complex and significant market and societal challenges. Startups, spin-offs and interested public and private organizations will also benefit from the Venture Lab through its customer, stakeholder discovery and validation environment that will support them in growing and expanding their projects. We are excited to welcome individuals and teams that are seeking support with their innovative ideas promoting, showcasing and exposing them to potential investors.”
Ms. Hala Al Ameri Executive Director, Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi at the Department of Economic Development (DED), said: “Innovation is an integral part of Abu Dhabi story and our commitment to becoming a leading innovation hub is unmatched. Building on our achievements, we recently launched “Abu Dhabi Innovates”, a framework for innovation ecosystem to ensure supporting and developing ideas and innovations into thriving projects and strengthen Abu Dhabi’s status as a destination for businesses and investments. This is in line with the Emirate’s plans to build a diversified, knowledge-based economy that will be driven by innovation.”
Hala Al Ameri, added: “I am confident that the cooperation between Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) and Abu Dhabi University (ADU) will contribute significantly to achieving our shared goals. In fact, this journey is not without precedent. It follows many successful examples of public and private partnerships that have helped make Abu Dhabi the great city it is today. We are pleased that Abu Dhabi University is granted and licensed as an innovative business incubator. This is an important step in the right direction and I commend Abu Dhabi University for its efforts.”
The ADU innovation strategy (ADUi) combines a personalized approach with lessons learned from successful innovators and entrepreneurs through researching and promoting evidence-based practices. The initiatives within ADUi include programs, stand-alone events and relevant opportunities which will be accessible and available to all students, faculty and staff, and will include ADU communities of reference.
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