About the Programme

The programme aims to incentivise creative thinking, problem-solving and collaboration between university students to solve a problem worth solving.

It will award grants to students and mentors so that innovative and ingenious concepts, relevant to the UAE and the region, can be accelerated to validation and prototyping.

Our vision is to generate viable solutions, either through developing commercial applications or offering further investment in research and development. As with all Expo Live programmes, the solutions must to be aligned with Expo 2020’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability, and make life better in communities.

The programme is in line with Expo Live’s belief that innovation can come from anywhere to everyone, and consistent with our theme of 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future'.

The programme aims to create a grassroots movement of innovation and build a community of students motivated to address problems worth solving in the UAE. It is open for submissions twice a year, at the beginning and mid-academic year.

  • Prizes range from AED 10,000 to AED 25,000 and will be offered as a further research and/or development grant. No individual cash prizes will be offered.
  • Funding levels will depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of the initiatives as well as the extent of impact.
  • The Programme offers access to networking opportunities, communications exposure, as well as additional capacity-building options.
  • Successful participants can build partnerships with local government, business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors.

Our Evaluation Committee


Our University Innovation Programme grantees are selected by an evaluation committee composed of Expo 2020 Dubai partners as well as experts from Expo and third parties.

Our Grantees

For the 1st cycle of its University Innovation Programme, more than 1000 university students in the UAE have submitted innovative ideas that help improve our lives according to Expo 2020’s sub-themes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

The grantees came up with ideas that solve problems worth solving, that are related to the UAE and the region and have an important impact on people’s lives.

With the support of universities, experts and partners, Expo Live is proud to have awarded 19 groups of students with funds up to AED 25,000.

These grants will enable them to take their ideas to the prototyping stage. In addition to continuous support in research and funding, grantees may also get the opportunity to showcase their solutions during Expo 2020 Dubai.