Khalifa University of Science and Technology has launched a business and investment arm of the university named Khalifa University Enterprises Company (KUEC), with an endowment of AED100 million.
Khalifa University Enterprises Company will include ‘Innovation Acceleration and Startups’ and ‘KU Ventures’, which will support establishing and operating non-IP technology companies. KUEC also includes the Endowment Fund that will allocate funding for investments and operations.
The mission of Khalifa University Enterprises Company is to boost and speed up business engagements with the University, to accelerate innovation and create an impact on the University’s scientific research assets and resources. Furthermore, Khalifa University Enterprises Company will aim to encourage technology investors and entrepreneurs to partner with the University to commercialize its growing patent portfolio, in areas such as energy, advanced manufacturing, health, artificial intelligence and robotics, through creation of technology startups.
Established and structured in consultation with three partners, Khalifa University Enterprises Company will leverage the support of the leading asset manager, BlackRock, and global financial services leader JPMorgan. On the innovation side, Techstars will play a pivotal role in the growth and scaling of UAE startups.
BlackRock will invest the endowment assets on behalf of Khalifa University Enterprises Company in a diversified global portfolio, while J.P. Morgan will provide custodial services to KUEC, supporting the asset management part of the endowment. Techstars will focus on reviewing Khalifa University’s patents, conducting research to identify commercial suitability and viability, as well as in market assessments and validation that will then lead to development of prototypes and use cases.
KUEC will work in collaboration and partnership with Khalifa University’s Technology Management and Innovation Office to help generate commercial outputs of University intellectual property and introduce university spin-outs to the market.
Similarly, Khalifa University Enterprises Company will work with the University’s Finance and Business Development Office to ensure that external partners and entities benefit from university resources and assets.
“The Khalifa University Enterprises Company will usher in a a new research-education-economy ecosystem paradigm in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and the region. In line with the best practices of some of the globally highest-ranked universities, which have similar companies to maximize their economic development mission, we have launched this new entity, not only to work within our mandate and benefit the country and the region but, most importantly, to realize the vision of our leaders in creating a knowledge-based economy. The intellectual, innovation and financial revenue coming out of KUEC will advance and enhance the University’s mission in research and innovation.”
The newly launched Khalifa University Enterprises Company is expected to work along similar lines, encouraging innovation and stimulating the creation of technology startups, while further motivating students and alumni to explore entrepreneurship based upon university research outputs.