UAE: DIEDC to Host Inaugural ‘Innovation 4 Impact’ Competition

To be Held at Global Islamic Economy Summit 2015

The inaugural ‘Innovation 4 Impact’ Competition, hosted by Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority ( DSOA ), the regulatory body for Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) the integrated free zone technology park, and the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre (DIEDC) in collaboration with Thomson Reuters , will take centre-stage at the Global Islamic Economy Summit (GIES 2015) that will run from October 5-6 at the Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.

The initiative has been launched as part of the shared commitment between DSOA and DIEDC to support emerging economies through offering a well-rounded and enabling environment for incubating and developing technology ventures in the UAE and the wider region.

Supported by DIEDC, the Innovation 4 Impact Competition has been designed as a global platform for participating entrepreneurs to present their business, products or services to an expert panel, as well as to an audience comprising prominent entrepreneurs, trade visitors and opinion leaders.

The Innovation 4 Impact Competition, being managed in collaboration with the American Muslim Consumer Consortium, seeks to support start-ups and businesses in the Islamic digital economy and serve as an incubator for SMEs across the world. The competition is open to any company or entrepreneur with a potentially groundbreaking idea or business venture. Applicants ideas will be judged on different aspects including: innovation, economic and social impact as well as the scalability across markets and regions. The proposed concept should belong to one of the following sectors:

1. E-commerce

2. Mobile computing

3. Cloud computing

4. Big data

5. Hyper-converged platforms

6. New media and social media

The winner, selected through the votes of the jury and the audience, will be announced on the concluding day of the Global Islamic Economy Summit on October 6, and awarded an array of financial, incubational and recreational support prizes. The winning entrepreneur will also gain significant exposure through a special showcase within one of the prime components of GIES 2015.

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice President and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)
Dr. Mohammed Al Zarooni, Vice President and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO)

Commenting on this competition, Dr Mohammed Alzarooni, Vice Chairman and CEO of DSOA , reiterated DSOA ‘s commitment to supporting start-ups and entrepreneurs in the field of Islamic digital and Arabic content. He said: “The first ‘Innovation 4 Impact’ Competition has been developed to empower Islamic businesses in the digital and Arabic content field in line with the leadership’s vision to transform Dubai into the ‘Capital of Islamic Economy. The competition is a platform for start-ups and businesses to gain support and entrepreneurial advice to further develop their value propositions that will allow them to play a major role in the growth of the digital Islamic economy sector in the MENA region.”

Dr Alzarooni added: “We are confident the digital economy will play a game-changing role in transforming people’s everyday lives for the better. We are looking for innovative entrepreneurs whose digital technology solutions exhibit the potential to disrupt existing trends. Winners should provide intellectual currency that will help their countries shape a knowledge-based economy and emerge as frontrunners in their domain.”

Abdulla Mohammed Al Awar, CEO of the Dubai Islamic Economy Development Centre , said: “We are very pleased to support this competition that will positively impact the development of the Islamic economy through providing a unique platform for entrepreneurs pioneering innovation in digital economy and technology businesses. The development of the digital economy is a key strategic objective of the ‘Capital of the Islamic Economy’ initiative and we hope efforts such as this will go a long way towards promoting innovation and fostering entrepreneurship within the Islamic economy domain.”

” Thomson Reuters is proud of our history of bringing people and new technologies together to help businesses prosper and improve the lives of the societies they serve. Digital businesses and solutions are increasingly becoming catalysts for the growth of developing economies and a significant number of digital users and consumers come from Muslim-majority countries such as Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Turkey. For most people in these countries, digital technology solutions are a priority and they are more likely to be increasingly adopted in the next few years.” said Nadim Najjar, Managing Director of Thomson Reuters , Middle East and North Africa.

“Combining our proven track record developing new technologies with our fast-growing expertise in the Islamic Economy, Thomson Reuters is in a unique position to support the growth of the Islamic digital economy and we are extremely excited to be hosting the inaugural Innovation 4 Impact Competition alongside Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority ,” he added.

Building on the success and impact of the inaugural GIES Summit in 2013, the upcoming edition of the event (#2015GIES) will draw the presence of over 2,000 policymakers and business leaders and aims to raise the profile of the Islamic world through resolving issues in the Islamic economy. The summit’s key focus areas will include business and investment opportunities in Islamic finance and insurance, the complete halal food value chain from manufacturing to logistics, as well as tourism and SMEs.

For further information on the Innovation 4 Impact Competition and details on participation, visit