UAE plans to invest Dh80 million in education, start-ups, and R&D in the information and communication technology sector in the region. Out of Dh80 million, Dh22 million is committed towards its applied and basic research and development initiative. The aim is to bring the ICT sector to the forefront of the global arena.
The ICT fund will finance research and development of different projects, invest in setting infrastructure facilities for applied R&D centers in academic, research institutions, and local companies. The facilities will in return facilitate basic research for developing R&D centers in academic, research institutions, and local companies. The country also plans to commercialize applied R&D, which will lead to the establishment of more start-ups in the ICT sector.
The fund will offer finance between Dh3 million to Dh5 million for research projects and up to Dh35 million for the whole project, which includes setting up of infrastructure facilities and completing the project.
According to ICT Fund, the UAE market is estimated to earn revenue of $13.6 billion by the end of 2011, which is about 20 per cent annual growth rate. The UAE’s ICT industry is the second largest in the Gulf region, behind Saudi Arabia.
According to the chairman of ICT Fund, Dr. Abdulqader Al Khayat, ?The ICT Fund?s initiative will promote growth for the industry in the UAE.? He added, the ICT sector will help in the diversification of economy and create a competitive edge in the global arena for information and communication technology.