Dubai’s Tecom Group has launched a new incubator targetting entrepreneurs, start-ups and students in the design community, it announced on Sunday.
The new in5 facility, to be located at the Dubai Design District (d3), is slated to open in January 2017.
It will be the third business incubator in the in5 network and is hoped to support industry diversification, a statement said.
The facility will provide a prototyping lab, offering equipment such as 3D printers, electronics and machinery for designers working with metals, wood, plastic and textiles.
It will also offer other specialised facilities, co-working spaces, offices, and community areas.
Members will also have access to a library of raw materials and design workstations to help develop their concepts into prototypes, and will also be provided with training and mentorship.
Malek Al Malek, CEO, Tecom Business Parks, said: “The latest in5 initiative is a much needed addition to the emirate’s start-up ecosystem.
“According to the 2015 Design MENA Outlook report commissioned by Dubai Design and Fashion Council and produced by Deloitte, the design industry in the region is expected to grow exponentially to reach $55bn by 2019. The recent MENA Design Educational Outlook report also highlights the need of at least 30,000 design graduates across key streams. We are excited to see the in5 network help the design sector in the region achieve sustainable growth.”
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of d3 added: “We are continually looking for new ways to drive the growth of the design industry by nurturing local talent while allowing established brands to meet a new audience.
“Mentoring the creative community is a key part of d3’s vision and through in5, we see our vision becoming a reality, supporting the design and fashion industry through offering students, entrepreneurs and new businesses the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures.”
Tecom Group launched its in5 incubation platform in 2013, as part of its Dhs4.5bn Innovation Strategy.
Its in5 technology centre, set up in the same year at Dubai Internet City, has helped incubate 160 start-ups which have secured over Dhs58m in funding till date.
In 2015, in5 announced plans to set up a media innovation centre in Dubai Production City, which will open in Q1 2017.
Al Malek said: “In5 was first launched as we recognised a gap in industry resources catering to the specific needs of entrepreneurs setting up their businesses in Dubai to create impact across our region. Having started with technology, in5 has evolved to supporting start-ups in the media sector and now with our entry into design, we will aid in setting a new benchmark in creativity.”
The in5 network of innovation centres aims to achieve 10-times growth by 2017, with planned expansion into new sectors, the statement added.