Tecom Group, a Dubai Holding division, is set to announce the criteria for selecting start-ups and key partners for its AED100m ($27.2m) innovation fund, which is to be rolled out over a 10-year period, within two weeks.

The fund is targeting start-ups in sectors including information and communications technology (ICT), media, education and science, according to Marwan Abdulaziz al-Janahi, executive director at the Dubai Science Park, one of the Tecom clusters, formerly known as Dubai Biotechnology & Research Park (DuBiotech).

Al-Janahi says 50 companies operating at the Dubai Science Park are considered start-ups, and the innovation fund aims to encourage more start-ups to set up in Tecom’s free zones. “They don’t have to be based [in Dubai or UAE] to avail the funding… we want to attract business ideas from all parts of the globe,” Al-Janahi tells MEED.

The key partner or partners for the fund will include companies with experience in conducting feasibility studies to assess the viability of proposed businesses ideas.

The need to prioritise innovation has intensified across the regtion and more so in Dubai due to several factors, including the regional governments’ sustainability objectives and economic diversification programme.