UAE launches clean-tech start-up hub

New businesses to be awarded $50,000 and training under BP and Masdar-backed initiative

Clean technology entrepreneurs are being offered the chance to win $50,000 of start-up funding by entering a competition backed by BP and the Masdar City sustainable development in Abu Dhabi.

Masdar announced that it has teamed up with BP and the Masdar Institute to launch The Catalyst, an “accelerator” initiative aimed at developing businesses focused on sustainability and clean-tech.

Under the scheme, BP will provide $5 million to provide funding, training, work space and mentorship to start-ups as part of the UAE’s Innovation Week.

The Catalyst will aim to support emerging businesses in the fields of energy, water and clean technology that are between one and five years from commercialisation and have potentially patentable technology.

Successful applicants will receive up to $50,000 of seed funding and up to six months of training and support to help grow their businesses.

Masdar CEO Dr Ahmad Belhoul said in a statement: “In the nine years since our inception, Masdar has transformed from a bold idea into a commercially viable renewable energy company.

“We want to leverage our own experience – as well as our unique infrastructure and assets at Masdar City - to create a platform for start-ups with similarly bold visions for sustainable technologies and turn their ideas into commercial realities.

“We are pleased to partner with BP and Masdar Institute to catalyse innovation in line with the call to action by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and the UAE leadership.”

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