The UAE Government has launched a global emerging technologies startup competition, “GovHack Series” in eight major cities around the world. The competition is part of the GovTech Prize, a UAE government initiative that has been running for its 6th year. The GovTech Prize works throughout the year to search for the best tech government solutions developed by governments and individuals, upon which are awarded at a ceremony during the World Government Summit.
Taking place from May until December 2018, the GovHack Series will first take place in New Delhi, Tokyo, Santiago, Jakarta, Washington DC, London, Berlin, and Cairo.
The GovTech Prize is organised in partnership with the World Government Summit, Dubai’s Area 2071, world-leading business and government consultants McKinsey & Company, and in collaboration with the Washington-based start-up networking platform Union. The contest aims to find the world’s most creative tech startup solutions to help solve global challenges facing governments
Supporting Innovation in Emerging Technologies
His Excellency Mohamed Bin Taliah, Assistant Director-General for Government Services Sector, and Assistant Director-General for Corporate Services Sector at the Prime Minister’s Office in the Ministry of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, asserted that the GovHack Series is an instrument that the UAE Government uses to support innovation in emerging technologies, which, in turn, strengthens the UAE’s status as a platform for forecasting the future of strategic sectors, and an incubator for creative ideas from around the world.
“Launching the GovHack Series in eight major international cities is a new milestone, and a new achievement registered by the GovTech Prize in its mission to inspire individuals, governments and private entities around the world to innovate and deliver future-ready ideas,” H.E. said. “The objective is to motivate young minds, students and government employees from around the world to develop smart government initiatives, and propose technological solutions to address the most pressing global challenges. The Prize also propels the most innovative of these ideas to an international stage, presenting them at the World Government Summit.”
Meeting Experts and Decision Makers in Participating Cities
GovHack Tech Prize, its partner the World Government Summit and its knowledge partner Mckinsey will host a series of roundtable discussions during the competition dates to address the series 4 main themes. The themes covered are divided into four main categories: Governance and Resilience, Environment and Well Being, Economy and Society, and Future and Progress.
Start-ups taking part in the competition will be evaluated by a panel of experts, based on criteria such as creativity, impact on society, sustainability, scalability, feasibility, and prospects for commercialization. Winners from each of the eight cities will be awarded a USD10,000 prize, as well as a chance to compete for the USD100,000 grand prize at the final event, taking place in Dubai, on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in February 2019.
Winners will also have the opportunity to collaborate with their governments to implement their technological solutions, and will be invited to participate in a 90-day business incubator programme in Dubai’s Area 2071.
Topics and Challenges
The GovHack Series covers the aforementioned four categories of topics and challenges, the first of which is Governance and Resilience. This challenge aims to find start-ups that leverage emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain to aid governments in addressing issues of collecting, analyzing and utilizing large flows of data while preserving privacy and security.
As for the second challenge, Economy and Society, the GovHack Series looks for solutions that embrace future and hi-tech solutions such as big data to help streamline decision-making and analysis, and improve quality of life.
Environment and Wellbeing third challenge, looks for start-up solutions that tap into the potential and advantages of circular economics to create new products and services that wield positive ecological and citizen well-being. The urge for this challenge roots from the rapid expansion in the sharing economy, driven by the growing role of advanced technologies, which have enabled the emergence of companies such as Uber, Airbnb, and others.
The fourth and final challenge – Future and Progress – This challenge addresses startups working on disrupting the way we learn and acquire skills to cope with the incoming disruptions in the labour market.