Expo 2020 Dubai today delivered the first public roll-out of its US$100 million Expo Live programme to help fund, accelerate and promote creative projects that will improve lives while preserving the planet.
The programme calls for individual entrepreneurs, SMEs, non-profit organisations, and government-related entities to submit their solutions, which should be at demonstration and implementation stage, to Expo Live.
The Expo 2020 Dubai strategy was declared last year and has proved a considerable success already, but this is the first time that a public outreach has been launched by the World Expo, and will be the first of twice yearly cycles, up to June 2018, to find suitable projects.
HRH Princess Haya bint Al Hussein, wife of Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, told the Bureau International des Expositions, BIE, the body which oversees World Expos, that such partnerships would be paramount for a successful Expo 2020 Dubai.
Princess Haya explained in 2013, "The true legacy of an Expo is not in its physical buildings or monuments, but in the connections it makes, the people it inspires and the future it builds."
Princess Haya continued, "The theme of Expo 2020 Dubai, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, is just such a pledge of partnership. In Dubai, we have built a city that has become an incubator for new models and new ideas."
Expo Live will deploy a combination of programmes, challenges and knowledge-sharing events in the run-up to the Expo, focusing on opportunity, mobility, and sustainability, which are the universal drivers of progress and core themes to Expo 2020 Dubai.
These programmes include the Innovation Impact Grants, Innovation and Best Practice Exposure Grants, Innovation Challenges and the Youth Programme.
Reem bint Ibrahim Al Hashemi, Minister of State for International Cooperation, and Director-General of Dubai Expo 2020 Bureau, said, "Expo Live will be the next great programme in the storied history of World Expos to serve as a catalyst for innovation and progress. It has been at the heart of our thinking and planning from the bid stage and I’m delighted that we can show the world how we intend to meet our promise in such a wide-ranging and ambitious way.
She added, "Our roll-out today expands on our earlier pilot started last year and I’m delighted that it’s already shown very promising results. This phase, which ran from June until September 2016, drew 575 applications from 71 countries on six continents, a reflection of the diversity and inclusiveness of the programme."
The programme not only seeks to identify advanced technological solutions, but also to extend the impact of simple initiatives at grassroots level to improve people’s lives.
Commenting on the launch of the programme, Yousuf Caires, Vice President of Expo Live, said, "Our world is changing rapidly, and with Expo Live, we wish to contribute to this change by funding, accelerating and promoting creative solutions with a social impact. Expo Live is here for the greater good, and to be a meaningful mechanism for human endeavour and creativity."