Climate Innovations Exchange Kicks off in Abu Dhabi
The Climate Innovation Exchange (CLIX) kicked off on Tuesday, January 16, at the World Future Energy Summit 2018, running from January 15 to 18, as part of Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. CLIX is being held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment and is hosting 27 entrepreneurs and innovators in the areas of sustainable agriculture, clean mobility and air quality.
In his keynote speech, His Excellency Dr. Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, said that innovation and technology play an important role in solving a range of today’s sustainability issues. “Innovation and technology generate a wide range of socio-economic values and create jobs, and this is why innovation is at the heart of our development agenda to drive our economic diversification objectives,” he said.
Al Zeyoudi added that to keep pace with the nationwide drive towards innovation and to help realize the National Climate Change Plan 2050, MOCCAE announced CLIX last October, as a platform that aims to realize innovative ideas to solve the unique challenges faced today, by connecting global entrepreneurs and investors to enable partnerships that will power sustainable climate solutions through knowledge, innovation, and funding.
The Minister said that CLIX saw a high-level of interest as it received submissions from 364 applicants from 65 countries. The judges panel, after carefully examining every application to determine their fulfillment of the pre-announced requirements, selected 27 applicants to present their ideas at CLIX.
He further added that “The high level of interaction we see here today between emerging entrepreneurs and investors and the quality of ideas being presented before us are clear indications to the prominent contribution the UAE makes in supporting innovation and providing applicable solutions to address climate challenges. I am proud to see that the largest number of applicants per country came from the UAE.
“Funding has always been a hurdle for the adoption and pursuance of sustainability goals. The inaugural edition of CLIX seeks to provide financing and investments, valued at AED 1.1 million, to excelling startups, and AED 9 million to make the selected proposals a reality.”
Highlighting the importance of enabling and engaging the youth, Her Excellency Shamma bint Suhail Faris Al Mazrui, UAE Minister of State for Youth Affairs, said: “Abu Dhabi has become an exemplary sustainability model, as it is committed to deploying sustainability solutions and carrying out high-level events that ensure a more prosperous future. One of these events is Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week. This year, ADSW is all about youth, and for good reasons. If we want our largest population and our greatest assets – Youth – to succeed in building our world for today and tomorrow, we must engage them now in the end-to-end solution making in our systems. Sustainability is as much a mindset about investing in the young people who will be our future as it is the natural resources we use to fuel it.”
Al Mazrui urged CLIX participants to take advantage of the platform to connect and set things in motion.
CLIX invited entrants to demonstrate innovative thinking and leverage technology to develop solutions in one of three key areas: agriculture, clean mobility and air quality. A panel of judges selected the semi-finalists over three rounds of assessment based on the challenges, solutions, innovations, technology and business models outlined in the submissions.
The semi-finalists will pitch to prospective investors at CLIX during WFES 2018, before being narrowed down to three finalists per category during the fourth round of assessment. At the event, investors will focus on five main elements of the pitches: concept and product, feasibility, target market, financials and the team.
World Future Energy Summit
The annual World Future Energy Summit in Abu Dhabi is the leading global industry event and marketplace for future energy, cleantech and sustainability. Bringing together government and business leaders, 800 specialist exhibitors and 33,500 visitors from 170 countries, it showcases pioneering technologies and ground-breaking thinking in energy and energy efficiency, water, solar, waste, smart cities and more.