Innovation Impact Grant Programme opens for applications

If the idea of attending Expo 2020 Dubai can seem somewhat daunting to you as a small business or entrepreneur, did you know that your business could be eligible for a grant of up to USD100,000 (AED367,000) to help take your big idea to the next level?  Expo Live is a programme launched by Expo 2020 Dubai to support entrepeneurs, SME’s, NGO’s and government bodies who are engaged in innovative activities which make a difference. or which create solutions to improve lives and help protect the planet.


Innovation Impact Grant Programme

As part of the scheme a total grant allocation fund of USD100m (AED367m) called the Innovation Impact Grant Programme has been established, with the aim of supporting innovators with

  • opportunities to collaborate with others through innovation challenges and knowledge sharing events
  • promotion of their work through marketing and communications on the global stage in the run-up to Expo 2020 Dubai,
  • potential to seek additional funding to showcase their work at Expo itself.


Is your business eligible?

Entities in a wide range of sectors from across the world are already benefiting from Expo Live grant funding.  Sectors currently supported include agriculture and water, digital connectivity, healthcare access, energy, fintech, education, and waste management.

Applications are welcomed from the following groups:

  • Entrepeneurs
  • Small and medium enterprises
  • Not for profit organisations
  • Government-related entities

Successful recipients of grants are evaluated against 5 different criteria:



The overarching theme of Expo 2020 Dubai is ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’, and with this in mind successful projects should be able to demonstrate a relevance to either the main theme, or a connection to sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.  If your project brings together different technologies or connects people on a global scale, it may be worth considering an application.


New or Innovative Solutions

Smaller businesses and entrepeneurs whose innovative products or services can inspire others and capture imaginations, and at a stage where they could be showcased either in the run-up to Expo 2020 Dubai or during the event itself.



The creative solutions should have a clear vision of their intended impact and how this could be monitored or evaluated, which includes identifying and understanding the impact on the communities which stand to benefit.


Replication and Scalability

The readiness of the project for demonstration, or to be implemented to-scale.  How will any additional funding help move the project towards further innovation or for scaling of the project?


Sound Business Plan

Applications should be able to provide a clear, well-conceived business plan, which demonstrates the capacity of the applicant to take the project to implementation, and which requests a grant amount in proportion to the anticipated impact of the project.


Pre-applications are open

The Grant programme is opened to new applications twice a year, and the next cycle of applications will start in October 2018 .  Interested parties can submit a pre-application now, so it is an ideal time to start planning ahead.

This post is powered by Acorn Strategy, an award-winning international Marketing and Communications Agency, with offices in the United Arab Emirates, Australia, and the United Kingdom.  If you’re a company or country wondering where to start in order to make the most of this immense opportunity, from your marketing strategy, home country and in-country planning, grant application writing, as well as your marketing and communications before, during and after Expo 2020 Dubai, the Acorn Strategy team can help.  To find out more about how we can help your business make the most of the opportunities Expo 2020 Dubai will offer, email, or call us on +971 (0) 2678 7926.