Abu Dhabi's Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) and OurCrowd Arabia, an Abu Dhabi-based subsidiary of Israel's OurCrowd, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly create and manage initiatives aimed at accelerating and catalyzing the growth of the AI technology ecosystem on the university's campus in Masdar City, Abu Dhabi.
The MoU outlines various initiatives, including 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.
“Part of MBZUAI’s existence is to foster entrepreneurship and this partnership creates a mechanism for incubating startups and creating local opportunities for the university’s pipeline of talent,” said Sultan Al Hajji, MBZUAI’s Vice President of Public Affairs and Alumni Relations.
“Through this strategic partnership with OurCrowd Arabia, MBZUAI is forging ahead with its mission to develop a dynamic, vibrant, AI ecosystem that will help to position Abu Dhabi as a global center for AI. Together, we will encourage funding to enable AI start-ups to scale up in the UAE’s capital, help to develop and commercialize AI research, and provide exciting opportunities in the field for young AI talent – including graduates and researchers from MBZUAI. The proposed initiatives are a perfect complement to MBZUAI’s and OurCrowd Arabia’s areas of expertise,” Al Hajji added.
Collaborative efforts between Israel and UAE
OurCrowd Arabia Executive Chairman Sabah al-Binali added, “We are honored to have signed this MoU with MBZUAI to jointly grow the AI ecosystem in Abu Dhabi. OurCrowd Arabia continues to build on its strategic relationships having started with our partnership with ADIO under its Innovation Program announced in November 2022. We look forward to continuing to leverage OurCrowd’s global experience and relationships to support the Abu Dhabi and UAE startup ecosystems.”
The collaboration between Israel and the UAE on AI has the potential to significantly benefit the industry as both countries possess unique strengths and resources that can complement each other. One of the main advantages of this partnership is the UAE's wealth, which provides an ideal environment for AI startups to thrive. With significant investment opportunities available, AI startups will be able to secure funding and resources to scale up their operations and pursue innovation more aggressively.
Another advantage of the collaboration is the UAE's strategic location as a gateway to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. As a hub for trade and commerce, the UAE provides access to a vast network of businesses, investors, and entrepreneurs across the MENA region. This can help AI startups to expand their reach and explore new opportunities in emerging markets, which are increasingly becoming key drivers of economic growth globally.