• Two new academia partnerships launched with UAEU Science and Innovation Park and INSEAD Business School will engage university students and expose them to startups and corporates working in digital innovation
  • Global tech ecosystem launches new Mentorship Program and Tech Talent Marketplace to help founders connect with mentors and attract and recruit top developers from around the world
  • Abu Dhabi Decoded webinar series to return in hybrid format featuring high-profile panelists, focused on the leading role education, academic research and community developers play in sustaining innovation clusters


Abu Dhabi, UAE – 31 January 2021:
Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, Hub71, has forged two new partnerships with leading academic institutions – The United Arab Emirates University’s Science and Innovation Park (UAEU SIP) and INSEAD Middle East Campus - to upskill talent in Abu Dhabi and attract new science and technological capabilities to its growing tech community.

Abu Dhabi’s embrace of technology and innovation largely consists of upskilling its local talent and attracting top talent from around the world to keep pace with its digital transformation. In a 2020 survey by PwC of CEOs in the Middle East, 70% said the availability of key digital skills is a business threat and its GCC Hopes and Fears survey found that only 23% of employees are learning new skills through their employer to better understand or use technology.[1]

Through Hub71’s new academic partnerships, each institution will benefit from the tech ecosystem’s network of partners and expert mentors to support students and alumni in addition to their startups receiving priority access to the Hub71 Incentive Program. The mutually beneficial partnerships also include innovation workshops, joint programs, events, hackathons and access to Hub71’s vibrant WeWork x Hub71 co-working space. Graduate recruitment and internship opportunities at Hub71 startups will also be facilitated, stimulating job creation and deepening Abu Dhabi’s talent pool.

Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, said:
“Our partnerships with world-class academic institutions will provide students and entrepreneurs with the tools to develop their digital skills, technological acumen and experiences, so that we foster the next generation of entrepreneurs who will grow to sustain innovation in Abu Dhabi. Many industries and organizations, both small and large, find it difficult to recruit digital talent who will ultimately drive Abu Dhabi’s tech transformation. With this in mind, we’re planting the seeds of the future by increasing the talent pool in Abu Dhabi for our startups while ensuring we nurture the right skills and develop the talented people needed to cement the longevity of Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem.”

Peter Zemsky, The Eli Lilly Chaired Professor of Strategy and Innovation, Deputy Dean, Dean of Innovation at INSEAD, said:
“As the business school for the world, we are excited to grow talent and support digital transformation and innovation in Abu Dhabi together with Hub71.  This partnership will also open a world of opportunities for the INSEAD community to collaborate and engage with a dynamic ecosystem of innovators and startups in one of the world’s most forward-looking environments.”

Prof. Nihel Chabrak, CEO of UAEU Science and Innovation Park, said: “Our new partnership with Hub71 is aligned with one of our strategic goals, which is to build partnerships and ecosystem conditions to support safe innovation and venture creation and growth.”

She added, “UAEU SIP also works with its partners on upskilling students and entrepreneurs to contribute to transforming Al Ain in particular into a learning and knowledge-based territorial economy. Achieving this goal, requires taking into consideration the availability and costs of the workforce, in addition to the quality of talent, which we make possible by knowledge spill-over and technology transfer into startups and new businesses from UAEU, the flagship University of the country, that has a pool of more than 14,000 students. This could become core to the value proposition we can offer besides the Incentive Program of Hub71 to attract more R&D startups and companies to Abu Dhabi.”

New Hub71 Mentorship Program
As part of enriching its community of founders and entrepreneurs with expert guidance, Hub71 is hosting a pool of accomplished mentors from diverse backgrounds to support their startup pursuits. Founders will be paired with mentors from startups, corporates, VCs and other innovation streams who have relevant experience to create meaningful connections and promote knowledge exchange.

Tech Talent Marketplace to ease access to tech developers worldwide
To provide easier access to a global pool of tech talent, Hub71 has partnered with Yougig to introduce a simple-to-use online marketplace exclusively for its startup community to access more than 1 million high quality tech developers worldwide at exclusive rates. Through software developer companies in Europe, North America, Middle East and Asia, Hub71 startups can now secure a diverse range of remote and on-site developers and on demand, pay-by-the-hour services to enhance their teams.

“As we continue to play a key role in transforming Abu Dhabi’s economy and bolstering innovation in various sectors, we realize that startups will be far better off with easier and reliable access to qualified tech talent, especially when sustaining their growing businesses,” added Al Yafei.

Abu Dhabi Decoded: Your Community Awaits
On February 10, Hub71 will host the third edition of the Abu Dhabi Decoded series in a new hybrid format. The session titled ‘Your Community Awaits’, will focus on the leading role education, academic research and community developers play in sustaining innovation and creating a tech cluster rooted in high quality talent, as well as the benefits for entrepreneurs living, working, and scaling businesses in Abu Dhabi.

Moderated by Dan Murphy, Middle East Anchor and Correspondent at CNBC, the high-profile panel comprises, H.E. Sara Musallam, Chairman of Abu Dhabi Department of Education and Knowledge (ADEK), Hanan Harhara Al Yafei, CEO of Hub71, Ruba Yousef Al Hassan, Executive Director of Ghadan 21 at Abu Dhabi Executive Office, and Professor Dr. Eric Xing, President of The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), reflecting a wide section of Abu Dhabi’s community.