HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has launched a new fund worth $544.37m to finance innovation, reported Trade Arabia.

The ‘Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Fund to Finance Innovation’ is designed to provide financing solutions for innovators across various sectors within the UAE, a federal government initiative represented by the Ministry of Finance (MoF).

According to The National the fund will guarantee commercial loans required to finance projects through the Ministry of Finance. It will also draw in the support of commercial banks, investment funds, family businesses and other funding entities.

“This fund is considered one of the most important financing tools in the region,” said Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs. “It is expected to play a significant role in driving growth and economic development within the UAE, and in strengthening the country’s position on both a regional and global level.”

The projects that will be prioritised are those in sectors named in the national innovation strategy, contributing to the UAE Vision 2021. Chief among them is renewable energy.

The announcement of the Fund’s launch itself was made during a conference, ‘Financing Innovation and Innovative Financing’, held as part of the Ministry’s participation in ‘UAE Innovation Week’, where green projects and technologies are being showcased.

The conference was hosted by the Ministry of Finance at the Sofitel Dubai Downtown hotel,  in the presence of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the UAE Minister of Finance; Obaid Humaid Al Tayer, Minister of State for Financial Affairs; in addition to a number of ministers and heads of local  federal entities.