Expo 2020 Dubai has started the public roll-out of its $100m social programme ‘Expo Live’, it announced on Sunday.
The programme will help “fund, accelerate and promote creative projects that will improve lives while preserving our planet”, a statement said.
It calls for individual entrepreneurs, SMEs, non-for-profit organisations, or government-related entities to submit their solutions, which should be at a demonstration and implementation stage.
A low-key pilot introduction of the programme was made last year, but this is the first time it has been launched to the public. It will be the first of twice yearly cycles up to June 2018 to find suitable projects.
The programme is part of a commitment made four years ago when Dubai won the hosting rights for the World Expo.
Reem Al Hashimy, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation and director general, Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “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 from six continents.”
She added that of all the entries, 168 were identified as potential projects and are now undergoing a technical review. Those that progress to the final stage of evaluation will present their project in Dubai in the coming months.
Expo Live will deploy a combination of programmes, challenges and knowledge-sharing events in the run-up to the 2020 World Expo, focusing on its theme of ‘Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability’.
These programmes include the Innovation Impact Grants, Innovation and Best Practice Exposure Grants, Innovation Challenges and the Youth Programme.
The Innovation Impact Grants is the first to open its 2017 biannual call for proposals, which will run for 60 days until March 15, 2017.
Applicants with demonstrable projects can complete the registration process on the Expo 2020 website and submit a short explanation of the challenge they are tackling, and the solution they propose.
Yousuf Caires, vice president, Expo Live, said: “Expo Live will help to empower problem-solvers from the region and wider world through the funding, acceleration and promotion of creative solutions to global challenges.
“Furthermore, the open and inclusive nature of Expo Live demonstrates the inclusivity of World Expos, as it is open to individuals and organisations from around the world, regardless of their background, resources or social status.”
Expo 2020 Dubai, which will run from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021, is expected to welcome 25 million visitors, with 70 per cent of them anticipated to come from outside the UAE.
The event expects to have over 200 participants and 30,000 volunteers.