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expo live: Innovation can come from anywhere, to everyone

Expo Live is an innovation and partnership programme launched by Expo 2020 Dubai to fund, accelerate and promote creative solutions that improve lives while preserving our planet.

With an allocation of USD 100 million , Expo Live will harness the convening power of a World Expo to demonstrate how innovations coming from all places and people can advance the pace of progress and inspire a more inclusive and prosperous future.

In the build-up to Expo 2020 Dubai, Expo Live will deploy a combination of grants, challenge prizes and knowledge-sharing events focused on the universal drivers of progress: Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.


Innovation Make Expo 2020 Dubai an engine of global innovation that both inspires and acts as a catalyst for creative and scalable solutions.
Engagement Engage participants and stakeholders by ‘Connecting Minds’ to support solutions across Expo’s subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.
Partnerships Establish a network for collaboration between nations, organisations and innovators via shared global challenges.
Impact Create tangible and quantifiable impact to improve the lives of people around the world by supporting the development and transfer of new solutions.

Expo Live’s flagship programme Innovation Impact Grant will award injection funds up to USD 100,000 to support the growth of social enterprises, startups and grassroots projects from around the world whose solutions generate social value and are in line with Expo 2020 Dubai’s subthemes.

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Innovation Impact Grant Programme

Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme is led by Expo 2020 Dubai . The programme aims to fund novel and innovative solutions that encapsulate the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai’s theme: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.’ The focus areas for funding are Expo’s three subthemes of Opportunity, Mobility and Sustainability.

Innovation Impact Grant Programme will award injection funds of up to USD 100,000 to support the growth of social enterprises, startups and grassroots projects from around the world whose solutions generate real social value.

Submissions open twice a year, in January and June, the programme provides funding to both developed and less developed markets, building a platform for knowledge exchange and co-creation.

The programme calls for individual entrepreneurs, SMEs,
non-for-profit organisations, or government-related entities to submit their solutions, which should be at a demonstration and implementation stage.

Applicants with demonstrable projects are encouraged to participate. Grant amounts will depend on:

  • Maturity and scalability of innovations
  • Scale of impact in the subthemes and at grassroots level
  • Capacity to implement and grow

For all the considerations download the Expo Live Grant Manual

The programme not only seeks to identify advanced technological solutions, but also to extend the impact of simple solutions at grassroots level to improve people’s lives.

What type of innovations are we looking for?

The programme will award funds up to USD 100,000 per application depending on the maturity and scalability of innovations. It’s not only about providing innovators with access to financing, successful grant recipients will also be offered the following:

Connecting innovators to an international network of participating nations, corporate partners, regional and global businesses, as well as an anticipated 25 million visitors.
To increase a project’s global visibility and impact, the Expo Live programme includes extensive marketing and communication exposure, and outreach programmes.

Grant recipients may qualify for additional funding that will be allocated to showcasing their solutions during Expo 2020 Dubai to an audience of 25 million visitors.
evaluation criteria

Expo Live has devised a comprehensive evaluation process that assesses applications on following five key criteria.

The call for proposals closed on
15 March 2017
The next round of submissions
opens in May 2017