December 2016

Smart Dubai Office Inks Agreement with 1776 to Join Innovation Council

Dubai, 21st December 2016 - 1776, a Washington, DC-based public benefit corporation and the first international technology incubator to set up a direct presence in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, announced today the signing of an agreement with the Smart Dubai Office (SDO) to join its Innovation Council.

Anchored in the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President & Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, to make Dubai the happiest city on earth, SDO aims to align its strategic vision with the resources and innovation capabilities of 1776, to drive thought leadership opportunities and engagement in its key sectors.

The Innovation Council at 1776 will provide SDO with the opportunities to tap into a vast network of key VIPs from around the world, including investors, policy makers and regulators relevant to innovation in smart cities, who can provide impactful insight and direction in the drive Dubai’s smart city agenda.

“The 1776 Innovation Council includes top influencers and leaders from around the world, and we are confident our partnership with 1776 will assist in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in the city, driving our vision to empower, deliver and promote safe, seamless, efficient and impactful city experiences for Dubai's residents and visitors”, said Dr. Aisha Bin Bishr, Director General of the Smart Dubai Office.

Commenting on the agreement, Evan Burfield, cofounder and CEO of 1776, said: “Dubai has a mandate to make the city the smartest place in the world, and we are delighted to be part of this exciting journey to make it happen. The 1776 Innovation Council will provide SDO real time market awareness and a curated deal flow of new technologies, such as blockchain, which can establish trust-based interactions between institutions and individuals in Dubai”.

SDO staff will also get the opportunity to participate in physical and online training sessions and innovation classes, as well as utilize 1776’s online network – Union - to engage and connect with various players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as benefit from various events, skill trainings, and industry analysis.

The 1776 Dubai campus, a result of the partnership between 1776 Dubai and the Dubai Future Foundation and based alongside the Dubai Future Accelerators (DFA) in Jumeirah Emirates Towers, will serve as the hub for connecting SDO with key international stakeholders, as well as provide mentoring and training sessions for key SDO staff.