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New incubator office "opens new possibilities" in the UAE

Photo: Nordic Innovation
  • Publisert 23.01.2015
  • Sist oppdatert 26.01.2015
The President of Iceland formally launched a new Nordic cleantech incubator at Masdar City, Abu Dhabi, at a lunch event attracting both diplomatic and corporate representatives. He described the incubator office as "an opening of new possibilities".

The office will provide a soft landing zone for Nordic cleantech companies that seek new business opportunities in the Emirates and the wider Gulf area. The ambition is also to provide an attractive platform for Nordic businesses already based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by combining the strong brand values of Masdar City and the Nordic region.


Read more about the Nordic incubator office.


Several Nordic companies have already expressed an interest in renting an office space in the incubator, and the ambition is to fill it quickly. It will be a flexible office, meaning that you can rent it for shorter periods at the time. The rent will be affordable even for small companies.



Together toward a global market

Seeing cleantech as one of the biggest strengths of the Nordic region, the President of Iceland, Mr. Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, hopes that as many companies as possible will see the benefits from utilising the incubator.


– I hope that the different companies in our respective countries will realise that this is not just an office in the normal sense. This is an opening of new possibilities, of a global transformation, which in my opinion has an enormous potential, said the President in his opening speech.


Abu Dhabi and the UAE have quickly emerged as a new global hotspot for renewable energy and clean technology. Masdar City, Abu Dhabi’s low-carbon, sustainable urban development, is also the permanent home to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).


According to the President, even in a small county like Iceland, several companies and organisations, such as Reykjavík Geothermal and Innovation Centre Iceland, already have found interesting cooperation opportunities in the UAE. He sees this as evidence that the Nordic countries together can, in fact, support not only the Emirates, but also the Middle East, as a very fascinating and promising market.


– It is correct to open this office here in Abu Dhabi. This is where there is a real ambition and intention to promote the whole green growth agenda, in spite of UAE being one of the big oil-producing nations, adds the Danish ambassador to the UAE, Mr. Poul Hoiness.



Head over to our Flickr account to see more photos from the launch.


An economic free zone

For the Director of the Free Zone at Masdar City, Mr. Ahmed Baghoum, it makes perfect sense to have a shared Nordic platform in Abu Dhabi, as he thinks there is a growing demand for Nordic expertise and knowledge within the renewable energy and clean technology sectors.


With 1.5 gigawatts of projects in their portfolio and an ecosystem of more than 200 companies, he sees Masdar City as the ideal place for Nordic cleantech companies to establish themselves. He also highlights the connection to the Masdar Institute and their more than 500 students, as well as Masdar City being an economic free zone. This means among other things that there is no corporate or individual taxes and they have a shop one-stop shop that supports companies to fast track their presence and set-up, so that they can focus more on their business and promote their technology to clients.


– Today, Masdar City has a platform that offers great opportunities for companies, says Mr. Baghoum.



The Nordics are stronger together

The incubator office is a result of an initiative by the Nordic ministers of business affairs and is managed by Nordic Innovation, which works to promote trade and innovation across the Nordic borders.


The joint Nordic platform that the new incubator office represents is the sensible thing to do, according to the Icelandic President.


– To some extent, the Nordic countries are a kind of a Silicon Valley of renewable energy, because what we have done each of us this area is a formidable combination when you put all of it together. By opening the office here, we are utilising the strength of the combined Nordic achievements in this area, he says.


The Secretary General of the Nordic Council of Ministers, Mr. Dagfinn Høybråten, is also backing the move into the UAE.


– We are happy to see more Nordic cooperation in the UAE and look forward to the important work now starting out in this economic hotspot. Nordic cooperation has a strong focus on green growth, so the new platform for clean tech solutions is an exciting addition to this effort. Furthermore, a new Nordic branding strategy is underway and this is an area where the Nordic countries really have a lot to offer the world, Mr. Høybråten says in a statement.




For more information on the incubator office, please contact:


Rasmus Wendt

Senior innovation adviser

+47 469 34 360



For more information regarding Masdar City, please contact:


Simon Lowe

Client Relationship Manager, Free Zone

+971 2 653 3333