Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) in Abu Dhabi and OurCrowd Arabia, an Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary of Israel's OurCrowd, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on initiatives aimed at accelerating the growth of the AI technology ecosystem on MBZUAI's campus in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
The MOU includes creating an AI-focused venture capital investment fund, developing strategic collaborations, enhancing Abu Dhabi's AI innovation ecosystem, and providing job opportunities to MBZUAI graduates through OurCrowd's global network of portfolio technology startups. Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI's Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, said that the partnership will help to incubate startups and create local opportunities for the university's pipeline of talent, which is in line with MBZUAI's mission to foster entrepreneurship.
According to Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI's Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations, the strategic partnership with OurCrowd Arabia aligns with MBZUAI's mission to develop a dynamic and vibrant AI ecosystem that will position Abu Dhabi as a global center for AI. The partnership aims to encourage funding for AI start-ups to scale up in the UAE's capital, develop and commercialize AI research, and provide opportunities for young AI talent, including MBZUAI graduates and researchers.
Al Hajji believes that the proposed initiatives are an excellent complement to MBZUAI's and OurCrowd Arabia's areas of expertise. Sabah al-Binali, the Executive Chairman of OurCrowd Arabia, expressed his honor in signing the MoU with MBZUAI to jointly grow the AI ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. He added that OurCrowd Arabia will leverage its global experience and relationships to support the start-up ecosystems in Abu Dhabi and the UAE, building on its strategic relationships, including its partnership with ADIO under its Innovation Program announced in November 2022.
The partnership between Israel and the UAE in AI has the potential to significantly benefit the industry, as both countries have unique strengths and resources that can complement each other. The UAE's wealth provides an ideal environment for AI startups to thrive, with significant investment opportunities available to secure funding and resources to scale up operations and pursue innovation more aggressively. Additionally, the UAE's strategic location as a gateway to the MENA region provides access to a vast network of businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs, helping AI startups to expand their reach and explore new opportunities in emerging markets that are increasingly becoming key drivers of global economic growth.