The Expo 2020 Dubai will be held from October 2020 to April 2021 in Dubai bringing in people from hundreds of countries, representing international companies, universities and organizations. But do you know that NGOs and grassroots projects are also expected to play an important role in this event and there is an innovation impact grant program, providing funding of up to USD $100,000?
NGOs and grassroots projects working on creative solutions to pressing challenges that impact people’s lives, or help preserve the world – or both can apply for this grant programme. The programme is looking for projects that need support to reach their full potential.
This is by providing much-needed funding, business guidance and promotion to both developed and less developed markets. This builds a platform and opportunity for knowledge exchange and co-creation.
Funding levels will depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of innovations, its capacity to implement and grow, and the extent of its impacts among others.
Beyond grant funding, successful grant recipients will also have access to networking and partnership opportunities, marketing and communications exposure, as well as additional funding, enabling their solutions to be showcased during Expo 2020 Dubai.
The programme will also build partnerships with local business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors in order to strengthen and promote active and productive ecosystems.
The focus areas for innovative solutions under each subtheme are intentionally broad. This is to ensure maximum inclusion and to allow creative ideas from across the world to emerge.
Opportunity: Unlocking the potential with individuals and communities to shape a better future.
Mobility: Creating smarter and more productive movement of people, goods and ideas.
Sustainability: Living in balance with our planet.
Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how new innovations, or the novel application of existing solutions, could lead to an impressive impact at the community level. The Grant Programme seeks to fund advance-stage projects, which are currently in the demonstration and implementation phase.
The following five criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:
Relevant to Theme and Subthemes
Does the project create new connections to help solve global challenges in Opportunity, Mobility and/or Sustainability? Will it bring together different technologies, involve more than one discipline or make cross-border connections?
New or Innovative Solution
Will the project capture the imagination and inspire? Does the project have the potential to be showcased before or during Expo 2020 Dubai?
Does the project clearly identify the community that it impacts? Can we monitor and evaluate the current and intended impacts?
Replication and Scalability
Is the project or solution ready for demonstration or transitionto-scale implementation? How will additional funding support the further development of the innovation or the scaling of the project?
Sound Business Plan
Is the project or business plan well-conceived? Does the applicant have the capacity to implement the project? Is the requested grant amount reasonable and proportionate to the anticipated impacts?
The following sample categories of solutions under different sub themes and innovation objectives provide a clear idea of the expected projects and proposals that can be considered for evaluation.
- Improving access and quality of education, training and capacity-building
- Mentoring and support networks
- Online education and new tools for learning
- Schools and curricula for the future
- Access to employment
- (Re) skilling for emerging jobs
- Workplaces of the future (physical & virtual)
- Automation of work (artificial intelligence and robotics)
- Fostering Entrepreneurship
- Boosting small and medium enterprises
- Emerging and pioneering sectors, industries and business models
- Future manufacturing and services
- Access to funding and financial services
- Access to global markets
- Future of banking, payments and financial services
- Social enterprises, impact investing and new philanthropy
- Systems to enhance transparency, inventiveness and competitiveness
- Innovation ecosystems
- Creative communities
- Smart government
- Means and modes for transport
- Sustainable, low carbon solutions
- Autonomous vehicles (drones, driverless cars)
- Smart infrastructure
Travel and Exploration
- Exploring new frontiers to connect people, places and opportunities
- Experiential, authentic and immersive travel and tourism to enhance understanding
- Migration-opportunity nexus
- New technologies and business models
- Restoring personal mobility
- Affordable and accessible prosthetics
- Assistive robotics
- Universal accessibility (physical & digital)
- Humanitarian and vital goods logistics (eg. food, medicine, water, energy)
- Supply chains of the future
- Tracking & safety of goods
- Logistics corridors & intermodal connectivity
- Accessing remote services (internet, health, education)
- Big data, Internet of things and smart cities
- Virtual & augmented experiences
- Navigation & satellite applications
Natural Ecosystems and Biodiversity
- Unlocking traditional & indigenous knowledge
- Biodiversity management, understanding and conservation
- Future of eco-regions and biomes
- Closed loop systems & biomimicry
- Access to current & unexplored resources
- Energy, water and food nexus
- Resource efficiency, management, storage, and distribution
- Sustainable food production
Sustainable Cities and Built Habitats
- Sustainable lifestyles (design and manufacturing)
- Sustainable materials
- Green standards and best practices
- Preserving cultural authenticity
- Adapting to social impacts of climate change
- Emissions reporting & management
- Novel technologies to mitigate climate change
- Education and advocacy
- Innovation and Investment in human capital and infrastructure for green growth
- Greening consumer behavior
- New economic models and circular economies
- Technologies for a green transition
Source: Expo 2020 Dubai
Illustration Photo: Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai (credits: ilirjan rrumbullaku / https://www.irrphotography.com / Flickr Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0))