Muscat: Omani social entrepreneurs with creative solutions to pressing problems have an opportunity to apply for grants worth up to $100,000 each, plus business support and exposure, thanks to Expo 2020 Dubai’s global innovation and partnership programme Expo Live.
In collaboration with Knowledge Oman, the Expo Live team travelled to Muscat to search for Omani start-ups, innovators and entrepreneurs who are helping to improve people’s lives, preserve the planet, or both.
Entrepreneurs looking to take their solutions to the next level have until December 2, 2018 to submit applications for the fourth Expo Live’s flagship Innovation Impact Grant Programme (IIGP).
Successful grantees may even have the chance to showcase their innovations to throngs of visitors at the next World Expo, which will take place from October 20, 2020 to April 10, 2021 in Dubai, UAE.
“As the first ever World Expo to take place in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, Expo 2020 Dubai offers an opportunity to catalyse innovation across the Arab world and beyond. Like the UAE, Oman is working to support its youthful and creative population, and Expo Live wants to offer a platform to help fund and accelerate innovation in the Sultanate,” said Fatma Ibrahim, Assistant Manager -Expo Live, Expo 2020 Dubai.
Khalfan Al Mahrizi, President of Knowledge Oman, a non-profit organisation whose mission is to support the country’s growth as a knowledge-based society, said, “By collaborating with Expo Live, we hope to give social innovators in Oman the chance to further develop their projects and boost their positive impact on society and the environment.”
“Our goal is to enhance the role that innovators are playing in Oman’s development, which is why we are encouraging all social entrepreneurs in the country to submit applications for the IIGP’s fourth cycle,” he added.
The Expo Live team used the Muscat summit to deliver a series of detailed presentations to Omani social entrepreneurs, outlining the IIGP’s objectives and application process.
Attendees were also introduced to innovations that secured support during the programme’s previous cycles, including a mobile app that gives a voice to the speech impaired by predicting what they want to say and saying it for them; a water and clay-based material that turns dry, sandy land into fertile soil; and a solar-powered refrigerator that stores life-saving vaccines without the need for electricity.