UAE launches 'Moonshot Pilot Grant' to test, develop new govt initiatives

Dubai - Offering up to $100,000 per pilot, the fund aims to attract high-performing researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs from various sectors


A Staff Reporter

Published: Wed 6 Oct 2021, 2:39 PM

Last updated: Wed 6 Oct 2021, 2:46 PM

The UAE Government has launched a new grant fund to develop and implement innovative ideas and projects to improve public sector initiatives and enhance the country’s readiness for the future.

The “Moonshot Pilot Grant” was unveiled during the Moonshot Apprenticeship Programme graduation event, implemented by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Centre for Government Innovation (MBRCGI), where graduates presented their solutions and ideas to key ministers and representatives of the UAE government.

Offering up to $100,000 per pilot, the government is looking for applicants who will facilitate testing of potential government initiatives and accelerate their development and implementation in the public sector.

The grant will fund projects related to the government sector, such as data, govtech, economy, global outreach, and global talent. Potential applicants will be able to submit their ideas and projects via the GIC website:

The “Moonshot Pilot Grant” will help provide new tools to achieve growth and smart spending plans for crises and emergencies.

Applicants for the Moonshot Grant must demonstrate concrete actions that can change the core of governance and help create pockets of innovation that can be scaled to support governments. Concepts must be impactful, able to improve governments, disruptive, practical, timely (to be completed in six months), globally relevant, and implemented in the UAE.

The Grant reflects the shift from traditional methods of developing public sector innovations to a world where top talents from across sectors participate from the idea stage to implementation on a national level.

It also aims to attract high-performing researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs from various sectors, who will contribute to finding solutions to the most pressing challenges, by empowering them to develop and implement their initiatives.

The ceremony was attended by UAE ministers, including Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth; Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy; Dr Ahmed bin Abdullah Humaid Belhoul Al Falasi, Minister of State for Entrepreneurship and Small and Medium Enterprises; Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future; Sarah bint Youssef Al Amiri, Minister of State for Advanced Technology; as well as Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications.

Other dignitaries included Abdullah Nasser Lootah, Director-General of the Prime Minister’s Office at the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs; Huda Al Hashimi, Deputy Minister of Cabinet Affairs for Strategic Affairs; Saeed Al Eter, Chair of the UAE Government Media Office; and Eng. Majid Sultan Al-Mismar, Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority and the Digital Government.


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Huda Al Hashimi confirmed the UAE government vision in adopting a regenerative framework that is based on innovation, and an advanced work model to enhance the government’s agility and readiness towards a better future.

She said: “The Moonshot Pilot Grant will create a supportive environment for innovation in governments by defining objectives, developing a general project structure, and setting achievable targets, in line with the 'Principles of the 50' aiming to build a new generation of young talents and create a knowledge-based economy.”

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