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Abu Dhabi confirms start-up, R&D incentives under stimulus plan

Abu Dhabi confirms start-up, R&D incentives under stimulus plan

The emirate is aiming to boost its knowledge economy and increase its competitiveness

Abu Dhabi Executive Council has announced plans to attract start-ups and support research and development under the third pillar of the emirate’s Dhs50bn ($13.6bn) stimulus plan.

The Tomorrow 2021 plan was first announced by Abu Dhabi’s Crown Prince in June and covers four main areas – business, society, knowledge and innovation and lifestyle.

Earlier this week, the council announced details of 10 initiatives to support the society pillar including plans to create thousands of Emirati jobs, open six private schools and provide social assistance.

Read: Abu Dhabi to target Emirati jobs, build schools, boost home loans under stimulus plan

The third pillar, knowledge and innovation, is intended to boost the emirate’s competitiveness and support its diversification efforts across 16 initiatives.

It includes a comprehensive programme to support Abu Dhabi’s shift to becoming a knowledge economy that develops, attracts and retains the highest calibre of global talent and supports the development and adoption of the latest technologies in all sectors of the economy”.

Among the initiatives is a new technology incubator in partnership with the private sector to attract and grow new start-ups.

Abu Dhabi also aims to support industrial research and development by incentivising automation and renewables for “large industries”, funding university and start-up R&D and promoting R&D regulation.

“The different initiatives under this umbrella will focus on head hunting critical professionals, amending visa and labour regulations to accommodate high-skill talent,” the council said.

“The initiatives will also provide training and development programmes and institutions for high-skilled talent and offer incentives to existing and new training programmes at corporations operating in Abu Dhabi.”

Other aspects of the pillar include incentive packages to create a more attractive start-up environment, boost industrial modernisation and efficiency and support existing SMEs.

The plans add to new economic incentives already confirmed under the business pillar including Dhs10bn ($2.72bn) of SME financing from local banks, a new public private partnership law and the settling of late payments.

Read: Abu Dhabi confirms Dhs10bn of SME loans, PPP law, faster payments under stimulus plan

Financial free zone Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) launched a $700 SME start-up licence in support of the programme at the start of the month.

Read: Abu Dhabi Global Market launches $700 start-up licence

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