Dubai Future Foundation & Meta launch joint business incubator program

By Arya M Nair, Official Reporter
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AI Retreat 2024
Rep.Image | Courtesy: GDMO

The AI Retreat 2024, organized by the Dubai Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DCAI) in collaboration with the National Program for Artificial Intelligence, has launched a joint business incubator program by the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) and Meta.

The new program aims to explore how Large Language Models (LLMs) can be leveraged to support product and service innovation across industries while inspiring the development of impactful AI use-cases that leverage Meta’s open-source AI stack to help solve real-world problems, unlock economic value and contribute to overall economic growth.

The announcement of the program, which adopts Meta’s AI model “LLAMA 3”, was well-received by participants, including industry leaders, experts, and global companies at the AI Retreat in Dubai. The program particularly resonated with creative thinkers, future technology entrepreneurs, and founders of startups and established companies specializing in AI applications and uses.

The program aligns with the goals of the Dubai Universal Blueprint for Artificial Intelligence (DUB.AI), which aims to support Dubai’s economic agenda (D33) by adding $27.2 billion through digital transformation and increasing economic productivity by 50 percent through innovation and digital solutions.

The program seeks to accelerate the achievement of these goals by positioning Dubai as a nurturing environment for AI companies and global talents, since the city is home to eight global tech unicorns.

The business incubator program will foster collaboration and help exchange knowledge and expertise in AI product development. It will enhance innovation, improve the competitiveness of entrepreneurial projects, and develop opportunities and talents. Additionally, it will support the creative initiatives that open new horizons in the digital economy, expected to reach $780 billion by 2030.

Abdulaziz AlJaziri_AI Retreat 2024
Abdulaziz AlJaziri
Deputy CEO & COO
Dubai Future Foundation

“Through such programs, we aim to create new opportunities and provide fertile soil for startups’ rapid growth. This will support the overall innovation system and bring innovative AI solutions and applications to life for the betterment of humanity. It also establishes Dubai’s position as a global testbed and a vibrant environment for AI-based innovation and service development across vital future sectors.”

Joelle Awwad, Head of Policy Programs, Africa Middle East and Turkiye, at Meta, stated that, “At Meta, we believe that the future of AI development lies in openness and collaboration. Our commitment to working closely with regional partners like Dubai Future Foundation reflects our dedication to building awareness, enhancing capacities, and fostering practical innovation within the ecosystem. Together, we can unlock the true value of AI for both businesses and society.”

DFF plays a crucial role in the business incubator program as a strategic partner. The DFF provides sector-specific consultancy, leverages existing networks and partnerships between the public and private sectors to empower startups, offers open spaces for talent exploration, potential development, and capacity building, and highlights promising projects.

This program is part of Meta’s regional initiative to leverage its open-source AI suite, fostering innovative solutions and activating economic opportunities that contribute to inclusive economic growth in Dubai and the region.

The program covers five key sectors: energy, transportation, aviation, tourism, and retail. It includes four main stages: defining corporate design challenges that can be addressed using LLMs; engaging relevant AI startups, scale-ups, and established companies; hosting these startups in a six-week journey at DFF, focused on design thinking and rapid prototyping; and announcing AI-based innovative solutions, exploring product development, and discussing investment opportunities.

The joint business incubator program by Meta and DFF is based on the unique open source “LLAMA 3” model, which can be used to develop beneficial AI applications across various sectors.

The program’s flexible approach to AI application development brings together different stakeholders, including innovators, creative thinkers, technology entrepreneurs, and founders of emerging and global tech companies. The goal is to create exceptional solutions applicable on a global scale to enhance quality of life and multiply digital economy opportunities.

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