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UAE leads transition to circular economy

To support tech startups developing innovations in the sector


The UAE Ministry of Economy, in coordination with Microsoft, the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, and the Italian Cariplo Factory, has announced the launch of a global initiative called ‘Circular Economy Turns Digital’ to accelerate the transition towards a circular economy through digital technology.

The initiative aims to enable technology-based startups in both the UAE and Italy to present their innovations before leading global companies in this field, to identify the most capable and advanced innovations that can support the transition towards a circular economy.

The said initiative will also provide an opportunity for these startups to enter into commercial partnerships with global companies.

The circular economy is considered an economic system that eliminates waste, preserves resources, and improves their usability. It plays a significant role in generating development opportunities and enhancing the national economy's ability to support sustainability.

The initiative is based on three main phases and starts with registration through the Ministry’s website, which will be open from 17 October to 7 November 2020.

Out of all registrants, a minimum of 15 qualified UAE startups will be selected for the second phase to present their innovations and technological solutions before a number of Italian and global companies in December 2020.

This phase will provide the shortlisted candidates with a valuable opportunity to explore partnerships and signing of trade agreements with the participating global firms.

The third phase will see startups that were selected for cooperation and agreements in the second phase launch their pilot projects. They will have the opportunity to carry out further feasibility studies and development procedures in innovation laboratories before starting their operations in a commercial scale.

At the beginning of this year, the Ministry had signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center to develop areas of cooperation in the fields of circular economy, innovation and small and medium enterprises.

The Italian group is one of the leading international players in this field and has already launched many initiatives to develop sustainable economic solutions.

The UAE is one of the pioneers in supporting the transformation towards a circular economy globally.

The ‘Circular Economy Turns Digital’ initiative allows startups in the UAE to communicate with their counterparts in the Italian market and exchange experiences. It allows them to showcase their innovations before Italian and global companies and explore partnership and cooperation agreement opportunities with them.

To participate in this initiative, the product should be in the final stages and must be ready for the laboratory testing phase in preparation for commercial production, so that commercial production can begin immediately.