Got a bright idea? Apply now for Expo Live grant

28 Aug 2018

Australian entities with innovative solutions making a difference to communities or the environment are invited to apply for a grant worth up to US$100,000 under the Expo Live program. The program is focused on helping organisations deliver outcomes for communities anywhere in the world.

As part of its successful bid to host the World Expo in 2020, Dubai’s leadership committed to an innovation impact grant program called Expo Live. The program aims to accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving the planet, and to showcase these successes during Expo 2020.

In addition to funding, grant recipients will be provided with international exposure through extensive marketing and promotion during the 12 months before the Expo commences in October 2020. They will also be given access to business opportunities through Expo 2020 Dubai’s partners including Accenture, Acumen, CISCO, DP World, Emirates NBD, Etisalat, Endeavor, SAP, Siemens and UNDP. Some of the most exciting solutions will be showcased during Expo 2020.

Here are some examples of how this is already happening. Grant recipients are being profiled in a National Geographic documentary, which will appear on the National Geographic network and the on-board entertainment system of all Emirates flights. Recipients will be showcased at the Expo Live pavilion at major trade events; a Dubai-based developer of a smartphone application that helps blue-collar workers learn English connected with CISCO after being showcased at GITEX, one of the largest technology exhibitions in the world. A Danish mobile app called ‘Be My Eyes’ that helps the blind to ‘see’ will be embedded to improve visitor experience for the visually impaired at the Expo.

With three cycles concluded, over 2,000 applications have been assessed, and 70 global innovators from 42 countries have been awarded up to US$100,000 each for projects generating social and/or environmental impact. Current grant recipients’ projects are listed on the Expo 2020 Dubai website.

Apply now for the final grant round

The fourth and final cycle of the grant program officially opens in October 2018 and pre-applications are now being accepted.

Innovation will be judged on differentiation from existing solutions in terms of pricing; use of new materials, processes or approach; or a new context within which an existing product or service is applied.

The eligibility criteria is as follows:

  • The program is open to Australian entrepreneurs, SMEs, not-for-profit organisations and small government entities in every industry sector.
  • The project can be delivered anywhere in the world but must be at prototype stage or beyond (i.e. demonstration/commercialisation/scaleup phase).
  • Only legally registered entities can apply, as funds will only be transferred to a business bank account.
  • Projects need to demonstrate a direct positive impact on a community or the environment.
  • Projects have to demonstrate they are commercially viable after the grant runs out as the solutions have to last beyond the Expo.

During the pre-application stage, applicants will have to submit an abstract answering questions, such as what challenge is being addressed, how the solution solves this, who are the beneficiaries and how the project differs from existing solutions. Once the call for proposals officially opens in October, a more detailed application will need to be submitted by December 2018.

The Expo Live internal evaluation committee will review and notify shortlisted applicants in January 2019 to submit more in-depth technical details. Finalists will be notified by February 2019 and invited to a three-day closed pitch event in Dubai (flights and accommodation costs are paid for by Expo Live). An external evaluation committee will make the final selection and successful applicants will be notified by end March/early April 2019.

Businesses interested in applying for a grant are encouraged to view a recent Austrade webinar where Expo Live’s Project Manager shared details on the program.

Companies are encouraged to submit an abstract during the pre-application stage and receive auto-notification in October to submit a full proposal. Those who require more information are welcome to contact the Expo Live team or Austrade’s main point of contact Preeti Rekhari.

More on Expo 2020 Dubai

Held every five years, World Expos are global events running over six months that aim to educate the public, celebrate innovation and progress made by humanity, and foster cooperation between businesses, academics, scientists and countries.

Expo 2020 Dubai will take place from 20 October 2020 to 10 April 2021 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, under the theme ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Held for the first time in the Middle East, it is expected to attract 25 million visitors, with around 70 per cent coming from overseas.

The Expo has three sub-themes:

  • Opportunity – unlocking the potential with individuals and communities to shape a better future
  • Mobility – creating smarter and more productive movement of people, goods and ideas
  • Sustainability – living in balance with the planet.

On 25 March 2018, Australia officially confirmed participation in Expo 2020 Dubai with a Pavilion in the Mobility district.

To capitalise on the opportunities for Australian firms during Expo 2020 Dubai, Austrade is holding a series of webinars focused on specific areas of procurement. In the upcoming webinar on 24 September, Richard McGuire, Vice President-Procurement at Expo 2020 Dubai, will provide an overview on upcoming tenders and the eSourcing online portal and tendering system. This webinar will be relevant for Australian firms with event management expertise. Register here.

Email Jane Shanthi, Senior Business Development Manager at Austrade Dubai, for more information on participating in other Expo procurement opportunities.