MBRIF and AzurX Partner to Boost Space Innovation

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The Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund (MBRIF), an initiative by the UAE Ministry of Finance to foster innovation, has announced a strategic partnership with AzurX, a leading private space and satellite professional services and investment firm in the Middle East. This collaboration aims to strengthen innovation in the space and strategic technologies sector, offering substantial benefits to startups and SMEs seeking acceleration and growth.

 Enhancing Innovation in the UAE Space Sector

Through this partnership, MBRIF will access high-potential space startups worldwide, drawing them to the UAE’s vibrant innovation ecosystem. The initiative aims to accelerate the growth of these startups by integrating them with the UAE’s ambitious space programs and providing essential resources for their success. This collaboration supports MBRIF’s mission to solidify its status as a regional and global leader in space innovation, aligning with the UAE National Innovation Strategy. It will also leverage existing partnerships with the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre (MBRSC) and the UAE Space Agency.

Fatima Yousif Alnaqbi, Acting Assistant Undersecretary for Support Services Sector, Chief Innovation Officer at the UAE Ministry of Finance, and MBRIF representative, stated: “At MBRIF, we believe partnerships are crucial to developing the innovation ecosystem. Our collaboration with AzurX is a strategic move to enhance the impact and reach of innovative endeavors within the space sector. Through such initiatives, we aim to create a dynamic ecosystem that accelerates the growth of startups and contributes significantly to the industry’s evolution.”

Anna Hazlett, CEO of AzurX, added: “AzurX has actively worked to attract and support space and satellite technology companies, along with research and development (R&D), to the UAE since 2019. A flourishing UAE space sector, encompassing a vibrant startup and venture ecosystem, offers numerous strategic, economic, and diplomatic advantages. We look forward to working with MBRIF to contribute to their accelerator program for space startups, enabling the expansion of the private space ecosystem in the UAE.”

 Accelerator Program and Success Stories

MBRIF and AzurX will work to attract global startups to the UAE, accelerating their growth through a customized 6-month accelerator program. This program supports innovators within the seven sectors of the National Innovation Strategy, including space as a key sector. It caters to startups at various stages of business maturity, providing tailored solutions, expert mentorship, and other vital resources, such as securing funding and access to stakeholders in the UAE.

A notable success from the program is Farmin, an Emirati-based remote-sensing platform leveraging satellite imagery processed with Artificial Intelligence (AI). With MBRIF’s support, Farmin has partnered with entities like MBRSC, Abu Dhabi Maritime Academy (ADMA), and Abu Dhabi Ports, securing over AED 1.1 million in various projects.

 MBRIF Innovation Accelerator Program

Launched in 2018, the MBRIF Innovation Accelerator Program aims to foster innovation by providing startups and scaleups with world-class business resources, mentorship, and support. The seventh cohort of the program, selected from over 230 applicants spanning 41 countries, includes innovators focusing on sectors such as health, clean energy, technology, space, transportation, renewable energy, and water. Participants gain access to tailored services, mentorship, and resources designed to accelerate growth, enhance capabilities, unlock value, and achieve scalability.

The partnership between MBRIF and AzurX signifies a strong alliance set to drive innovation, visibility, and a supportive environment for startups in the space and strategic technologies sector in the UAE. By leveraging this collaboration, both entities aim to propel the UAE’s space sector to new heights, aligning with the nation’s strategic goals for innovation and technological advancement.

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