The conference was organised by Roland Berger in cooperation with Intesa Sanpaolo, was held at the Dubai Chamber offices.
The conference was attended by H.E. Liborio Stellino, Italian Ambassador to the UAE, representatives from Roland Berger Middle East, Intesa Sanpaolo, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, Google, Dark Matter, Hyperloop, Careem, and members of the local business community.
The event focused on different aspects of smart developments in key areas, and brought together participants from startups, investors, and technology.
The conference concluded with a pitching contest where 10 startups from the UAE and Italy presented their business ideas, technologies and solutions specialising in smart transport, circular economy and energy. Participating startups included Enerbrain, GreenRail, U-earth, Energica Motors, Wimo, Volt Lines, Junkbot, Store2Door, Friendycar and Arcab.
Dubai Chamber launched Dubai Startup Hub in 2016 as an online platform to connect startups, entrepreneurs, developers, venture capitalists and students, enabling them to learn about new opportunities and create new partnerships that stimulate economic growth.
Kushal Shah, Head of Digital for Middle East and Asia at Roland Berger, said: “As the GCC transitions towards knowledge-based economies embracing technology, the innovative spirit of the region was on full display at our recently concluded Tech Mix. Reflecting our collective commitment to accelerating the growth of the tech innovation system, it was heartening to see so many experts under one roof sharing their insight and experience on pertinent topics including one high on Roland Berger’s agenda, a sustainable circular economy.”
Shah discussed the concept of city-as-a-service during the event, which he described as the movement towards introducing more integrated services for city dwellers. City-as-a-service is one component of the circular economy, through reducing the need for ownership of things like personal cars which can be replaced with transport-on-demand solutions. However, he noted that Dubai is still very much in the early stages of adoption for the circular economy, and that there is a need both for more awareness and education on circular economy concepts, and also for greater access to services.
“We have to push it much harder, both education, and also making it easy, both for corporates and residents, making it much easier for people to leverage.”