The Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), represented by its Innovation Micro, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (mSME) team, successfully organized the first session of 'mSME Connect,' a specially created networking platform between mSMEs, government entities and large companies that is aimed towards facilitating a smooth exchange of ideas, knowledge and expertise from key leaders to mSME stakeholders.
H.E. Rashed Abdul Karim Al Balooshi, ADDED Undersecretary, shared that 'mSME Connect' is composed of a series of virtual conferences, forums, exhibitions, knowledge-sharing sessions and other future platforms placing strong focus on financing, marketing and product development among other topics that fall in line with the needs and requirements of SMEs. The initiative looks to explore the maximum benefit to be gained from the large companies and government entities in Abu Dhabi.
Al Balooshi pointed out that the role of the platform in facilitating the connection between these entities, helping pave the way for the exchange of ideas and expertise and forge partnerships that enhance cooperation and coordination between mSMEs, large companies and the public sector. The event directly contributes to the development of skills and capabilities of entrepreneurs--enhancing innovation in the emirate via the connection of companies to facilitate their access to the local and global markets and exchange of commercial business.
"We are organizing this platform to reach out to innovators, mSMEs, members of the mSME Coalition Project and various entities and institutions operating across the public and private sectors, in which we seek to create a coherent and integrated economic and business community based on coordination, cooperation and integrity of roles in the aim to support the emirate's economy during the next phase," Al Balooshi added.
The ADDED Undersecretary affirmed the Abu Dhabi government's keenness to empower these companies, expanding their work horizons and enhance their competitiveness, in light of the progressive role of SMEs in the efforts to boost the emirate's Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Meanwhile, Salem Bin Shabib, Head of the Innovation Team micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Team at ADDED, revealed that 'mSME Connect' is one of the initiatives of the mSME Coalition Project, which was launched by ADDED.
Bin Shabib shared that the first session of 'mSME Connect' included an introduction to the platform and its importance in the move to support and empower mSMEs. The event was attended by a group of local and strategic partners coming from government entities and the private sector, including innovators from various economic fields.
Bin Shabib affirmed ADDED's keenness towards empowering these mSMEs and commitment to ensure the provision of the required support to Emirati entrepreneurs and innovators--helping them transform their creative ideas into successful and prosperous projects that contribute to the socio-economic development process led by the emirate.
"These programs and initiatives, which have been launched by ADDED, fall in line with the government's efforts to support innovation, which is considered to be a key pillar of modern global economies and a vital sector contributing to the establishment of a competitive economy based on knowledge and innovation," said Bin Shabib.
He concluded, "ADDED is looking to hold more sessions as part of the 'mSME Connect' platform, which includes discussions and knowledge-sharing sessions with prominent leaders in the field of innovation and mSME; bringing together various SMEs and large companies operating in Abu Dhabi. These sessions will be composed of elite representatives from the public sector to discuss topics like knowledge and innovation, finance, business and investment, competencies, and other supportive topics that fall in line with the economic development requirements."
The first session of 'mSME Connect' focused on innovations in the environment and energy sectors, which included a presentation by the Department of Energy entitled 'Energy Sector Challenges and Global Trends;' this was followed by a presentation from the Environment Agency - Abu Dhabi on 'Dugong and Seagrass Research Toolkit' accompanied by the presentation of six modern inventions by respective innovators--Wudu Basin, Vertical Farming, Fuel Preheater for Internal Combustion Engine, Renewable energy, Electricity Generation, Water Desalination, Process Heating, Overall Dynamic Reactive Power Control in Transmission System and Smart Indoor Gardening HydroArtPod.
'mSME Connect' was supported by Department of Energy, Abu Dhabi Municipality, Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), Al Ain Distribution Company, HUB71, Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development (KFED), Sandooq Al Watan, PLUG and PLAY Incubator, Khalifa University and Stratecis Investment. The session further witnessed the participation of representatives from the Environment Agency- Abu Dhabi, ADIO, Abu Dhabi Development Holding Company (ADQ), Abu Dhabi Global Market, Department of Municipalities and Transport- Abu Dhabi (DMT), TAQA, Emirates Development Bank, Khalifa Innovation Center, Mubadala, Agthia Company, Mohammed Bin Rashid Innovation Fund, United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), Krypto labs, StartAD, EBTIC, ANNEX Investments, and CATALYST.