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Curating an Innovation Ecosystem

Curation is fundamental to District 2020’s success and a cornerstone of the innovation ecosystem’s role in Dubai’s future. Discover why District 2020 is focused on attracting ambitious and inventive companies operating in industries key to the emirate’s future.

Curation is fundamental to District 2020’s success and a cornerstone of the innovation ecosystem’s role in Dubai’s future. In this context, curation refers to District 2020’s mandate for attracting tenants and providing them with the technology, contacts, and tools they need to grow and thrive, alongside creating an environment that enables cross-industry collaboration with key players across multiple industries. With these collaborations happening simultaneously, tenants will forge connections and partnerships that will maximise the value they gain from being part of District 2020’s innovation ecosystem, empowering them to innovate and grow their business in Dubai and beyond.

Attracting the likes of Siemens — our first official anchor tenant — along with other large and small sized enterprises will help support Dubai’s economic progress. District 2020 is focused on curating businesses from sectors that are key to the UAE’s future, such as smart logistics, smart mobility and smart well-being; as well as other industries that are set to grow in a post-COVID world. In addition, to attracting enabling technologies, such as AI, IoT, blockchain, robotics and big data — which are all key in shaping the evolution of smart cities.  Companies of all sizes are being targeted to curate a broad tenant mix comprised of Fortune 500 companies, start-ups, scale-ups, accelerators, universities, and government entities, all of which contribute to the diversification of Dubai’s economy. Businesses investing in District 2020 will benefitfrom being one part of a highly diverse ecosystem. They’ll collaborate with different sized companies from various converging industries to fuel the kind of industrial and societal transformation that benefits us all. Meanwhile, tenants will profit from District 2020’s highly connected digital environment, which will include the latest and most advanced technologies and high speed 5G connectivity.. With access to seamless and advanced physical and digital connectivity, organisations will be supported to innovate, grow, and drive their industries forward while contributing to the prosperity of Dubai’s resilient and competitive economy.

With curation firmly in mind, District 2020 is actively engaging with international organisations in each of the high potential industries listed above, and inviting leading businesses that are innovating and transforming in their respective fields. Alongside Siemens, other global names including Atlas Capital, DP World Cargospeed, and Merck KGaA have already committed to becoming part of District 2020. Each recognises the opportunities the ecosystem will offer, and the chance they’ll gain to contribute to further innovation within Dubai’s borders.

Recently, District 2020 signed a 10-year lease agreement with Siemens that sees the German company grow its operations as an anchor tenant and establish different divisions of Siemens business group at District 2020, including the soon to be spun off Siemens Energy. Siemens will also establish its global logistics headquarters within the innovation ecosystem in a move that transfers the company’s airports, cargo, and port logistics from Munich to District 2020. A larger presence for Siemens will encourage industry growth, accelerate innovation, and stimulate job creation, bringing continuous long-term value to District 2020 and Dubai’s economy overall.

Additionally , Terminus Technologies — a China-based leader in smart technologies — will be setting up its first headquarters outside of China at District 2020, alongside a research and development (R&D) centre focusing on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT). Their presence will support the growth of transformative advanced technologies in Dubai and the region, and also signifies District 2020’s commitment to forging global partnerships including Chinese entities and contributing to strengthening UAE-China relations.

Another Chinese-based investment company Atlas Capital, will build a blockchain campus with the aim of helping businesses to adopt and implement blockchain technology, which is evolving in sophistication and influence as more and more companies use it to revolutionise their business processes and their respective industries. Meanwhile, DP World maintain a presence at District 2020 after the conclusion of Expo 2020 supporting the growth of smart logistics with education and capacity building.  
Meanwhile, Germany’s Merck KGaA will set up a Sustainability Centre that will be home to a start-up incubator focused on accelerating sustainable solutions to global urban challenges. Merck’s centre will run a range of educational and research-focused programmes with the aim of supporting new innovators in quickening the transition towards a smart and sustainable world.

Every tenant will contribute to the ecosystem in its own unique way, and District 2020 will coordinate such efforts to make sure all entities co-exist in a connected and collaborative community. Encouraged to innovate in their fields, tenants will also be instrumental in helping to create District 2020’s blueprint for a smart, human-centric city. For example, Siemens’ digital infrastructure, which will be inherited from Expo 2020, will enable the company to continue driving multi-sector innovation at District 2020 through its pioneering work in IoT, cloud computing, and big data. 

District 2020 is bringing together the best players and companies to foster an ecosystem that nurtures and promotes innovation and supports businesses to form meaningful connections that will further their growth. The diverse presence of Fortune 500 companies through to entrepreneurial start-ups each enabled by advanced technologies — will curate an environment to facilitate transformative growth across potent industries, fuelling the growth of Dubai’s innovation economy, with the potential to shifting the dynamics of industries on a global scale.


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