The Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA) along with The Sandbox – The D. Company have announced that a total of 100 participants have been selected from more than 400 applicants to participate in the first-ever EXPO Innovation Challenge, to be held from October 9 to 11, 2015 in partnership with EXPO Milan 2015. The pool of participants, comprised of developers, designers and entrepreneurs from around the world, underwent a rigorous selection process in order to take part in the event and will develop purpose-driven technologies and solutions related to EXPO 2015's theme of 'Feeding the Planet. Energy for Life.'
Participants have the option to work on a real-life case study related to innovation within the food industry value chain developed by DAFZA, the Premium Sponsor of EXPO Innovation Challenge 2015 or to pitch their own idea. Throughout their stay, the group will attend skill sessions on coding, design thinking and pitching, receive mentorship from industry experts and network with their peers. All contestants will receive certificates recognizing the skills they have attained. The winning teams will receive EUR 20,000 and undergo incubation and mentorship provided by leading European incubation hubs for six months as they turn their ideas into business start-ups. The resulting start-ups will be supported by mentors, tutors and various industry experts.
Amna Lootah, Assistant Director General – Finance and Commercial, DAFZA, said: "DAFZA commends the very thorough and precise selection process overseen by international specialists to come up with this brilliant group. The world needs creative, visionary and bold minds to address vital issues that affect the future of humanity. Participants have the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of society. We have all gone far thanks to innovation, so we must always encourage the passion for ingenuity; the EXPO Innovation Challenge is the perfect platform for pursuing this goal on a global scale and DAFZA is proud to be supporting its first-ever edition."