The Takamul program promotes innovation in the UAE by providing support and international expertise to innovators and inventors such as deep tech startup Manhat.
One of the Abu Dhabi Government Economic Vision 2030’s strategic objectives is to establish a knowledge-based economy in line with the National Innovation Strategy 2021. Since innovation is the key milestone of a knowledge-based economy, the Government of Abu Dhabi has launched integrated strategic initiatives to motivate creative thinking, promote innovators, and secure the elements of an innovative community.
An Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED) initiative: Takamul as a key platform promoting local innovation
Launched in 2011, the Takamul program, initiated by the Competitiveness Office of Abu Dhabi (COAD) under the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development (ADDED), is one of the key national platforms seeking to promote innovation by providing support and international expertise to innovators and inventors in UAE, as well as supporting them in achieving economic and social values for their inventions and innovations.
The Takamul program powers the innovation cycle via:
To date, Takamul’s efforts have resulted in:
Startup and patenting support: Manhat’s story as an Abu Dhabi-based deep tech startup
Dr. Saeed Alhassan Alkhazraji, Founder of Manhat (right)
Among Takamul’s rising beneficiaries is Manhat, an Abu Dhabi-based deep tech startup working on a solution to the UAE's dependence on desalination, utilizing physical sciences as opposed to energy-intensive IT-based methods in producing freshwater.
Manhat’s key invention is a greenhouse construct that is installed on a seashore, which relies on solar rays to heat water till the point of evaporation. After that, the ascending water vapour condenses when it touches the cooler side of the construct, eventually being collected and stored as pure, distilled water, with no resulting waste produced.
Dr. Saeed Alhassan Alkhazraji, Founder of Manhat and an associate professor in chemical engineering at the Khalifa University in Abu Dhabi, set up his company in 2019, but had been working with Takamul since 2013 since the inception of his idea. He was able to secure three patents with their support, while an application for a fourth one is currently under review.
Reflecting on their journey to patenting this design, Dr. Saeed told the Abu Dhabi SME Hub: “If I were to start the patenting process from scratch, the journey would have been very long because the process and post-process for submitting a patent are both very demanding and needs continuous monitoring.
“Luckily, I had a good understanding of how the patent process works and this was emphasized and enhanced by the Takamul program and their awareness and educational campaigns. Additionally, Takamul provides financial support at different stops of the patenting process, which is crucial for early/individual inventors.”
Benefits of Takamul’s patenting support
Manhat's solar distillation structure
Regarding the benefits of patenting a product in the UAE, he explained that this helps in “enhancing innovation indices for the country. Additionally, having a patent in the UAE is crucial to protect the final product from a legal point of view.”
“Typically, a patent provides 20 years of protection. The key features of this [certification] can be protected by additional patents that can extend the life of the original [certification].”
Currently at the seed stage, Manhat is planning a pilot test for 2022.
Interested individuals and entities (whether patent holders and inventors, startup entrepreneurs, established companies/business owners, or educational institutions) can benefit from the services of the Takamul program by reaching out online: https://takamul.gov.ae/ or by email: Takamul@ded.abudhabi.ae