EXPO Live Fund: $100 million for innovation

The World Expo 2020 Dubai has allocated 100 million dollar in an innovation and partnership programme called: Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme. The Expo Live fund is meant to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improves lives while preserving our planet. Innovations from all over the world, including the Netherlands, can be part of the application process. The programme is granting up to 100.000 USD per initiative. The programme is opening for submissions twice a year; the second round for 2018 has just opened. Already two Dutch companies have been awarded a financial grant from the Expo Live Fund.

Overzicht van de Dubai Expo 2020.
©Dubai Expo 2020
Overzicht van de Dubai Expo 2020.

Who can apply?

The Grant Programme is an inclusive programme open to problem solvers from around the world ranging from individual entrepreneurs, SME’s, not-for-profit organizations and government related entities. The Expo Live programme prefers projects that would not reach their full potential without its support. Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how new innovations, or the novel application of existing solutions, could lead to an impressive impact at community level. The grant programme seeks to fund advance-stage projects, which are currently in demonstration and implementation phase and which focus on the sub themes of the Expo2020 Dubai: mobility, sustainability and opportunity.

Financial funding in combination of networking and partnership opportunities

Funding levels will depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of innovations, its capacity to implement and grow and the extent of its impacts on others. Beyond grant funding, successful grant recipients will also have access to networking and partnership opportunities, marketing and communications exposure as well as additional funding, enabling their solutions to be showcased to millions of visitors during Expo2020 Dubai. The program will also build partnerships with local business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors in order to strengthen and promote active and productive ecosystems.

Submission and criteria

Innovations can be submitted twice a year: in January and June. For the first round of January 2019, applications can be send now until the submission closure date of 2 December.

The following five criteria will be used to evaluate submissions:

  • Relevance to theme and subthemes;
  • New or innovative solutions;
  • Target beneficiaries;
  • Replication and scalability;
  • A Strong Business Plan.

Dutch startups already awarded grants

Dutch startups LandLife Company and Designation Works have each won an Expo Live grant. Amsterdam based Land Life Company aims to restore arid and degraded land worldwide by using its innovative ‘Cocoon’, a low-cost water efficient and bio-degradable tree planting solution being used to reforest areas such as Zambia, Cameroon Peru and Chile. The Cocoon concept is able to increase the number of trees that successfully grow to maturity, while cutting the use of water needed by 90% or more, without additional assistance. By involving young people in tree-planting, jobs will be created and economic growth will be stimulated.

Rebecca Braswell, director of Land Life Company: 'With the help of Expo Live, we can achieve our goal to build a strong demonstrational project in Zambia, to scale up operations across three countries and achieve greater, global impact. Scaling up our land restoration projects from planting tens of thousands of trees to hundreds of thousands of trees, enables us to establish local operations and production. For this project, scaling up is a game changer, allowing us to reduce the cost of production and technology, to reduce transport time and carbon footprint, and to create more jobs. In short; to generate a sustainable way of living, both environmentally and economically. In addition,  Expo2020 will help us to achieve to move into carbon credits, exposing the local stakeholders to an international market place, increasing their economic mobility.'

More information and how to apply

Find out more and apply for the Expo Live grant through their website: www.expo2020dubai. ae/expolive.

Expo2020 Dubai

From October 2020 to April 2021, Expo2020 Dubai will bring together hundreds of countries, innovators, international organizations, companies, entrepreneurs, NGO’s, Universities, and millions of people to celebrate human ingenuity. The first mega-event of its kind in the region. Expo2020 Dubai will provide a unique global platform for presenting novel and innovative solutions with the potential to transform the lives of people around the world.