Gitex 2023: Abu Dhabi Introduces New Centers for Metaverse Advancement and Start-up Support

The MBZUAI Metaverse Center and MBZUAI Incubation and Entrepreneurship Center aim to foster emerging technology potential.

The Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence has revealed two novel establishments geared towards propelling metaverse exploration and encouraging entrepreneurship within the start-up community.

The MMC is positioned to innovate solutions that enhance user experiences and make the creation of sustainable digital environments more accessible. Researchers will exhibit progress in generating AI-powered 3D avatar content.

The MIEC is designed to empower start-ups to innovate and embrace AI within various industries. It will offer courses in entrepreneurship, acquaint startups with the local market, and provide funding prospects.

Timothy Baldwin, acting provost of the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI), expressed, “The launch of these centers underscores our university’s commitment to lead in AI research and national priorities.”

“Our commitment is to cultivate a thriving AI ecosystem that strengthens industry partnerships and sets the stage for pioneering start-ups fueled by our university’s research foundations.”

The metaverse, founded on Web3, represents a virtual realm where avatars interact, potentially revolutionizing work and business operations.

By 2035, metaverse technologies have the potential to contribute $16.7 billion to the UAE’s economy, according to a recent study by Meta Platforms, the parent company of Facebook.

Sectors expected to benefit significantly from metaverse adoption include tourism, retail, property, and gaming.

Concurrently, the start-up ecosystem is expanding as companies tackle the challenges of devising solutions in an increasingly digital world, particularly in sectors such as retail, services, and commerce.

Start-ups play a pivotal role in the digital economy, and the UAE government has launched numerous initiatives to nurture their growth, recognizing technology as a catalyst for economic expansion and inclusivity.

Abu Dhabi’s tech push has drawn support from global giants like Google, Meta Platforms, and Microsoft, who operate accelerators in the region.

Start-ups globally generate a value of approximately $3 trillion, nearly matching the GDP of a G7 economy, as per Startup Genome, an advisory firm.

These launches of the MMC and MIEC follow the establishment of two new departments and four graduate programs at MBZUAI, aimed at meeting the growing global demand for robotics and computer science.

These programs aspire to further enhance the UAE’s broader AI ecosystem and solidify its position as an international hub for AI research and innovation.

Publish Date: Oct 17, 2023


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