United Arab Emirates and MaRS sign agreement to promote innovation

Agreement to foster global opportunities for Canadian high-growth companies

Toronto, September 10, 2012 – MaRS Discovery District is pleased to announce that it has signed today a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Economy of United Arab Emirates to establish a long-term, mutually beneficial, strategic partnership aimed at fostering innovation and accelerating the growth of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) in both countries.

Signed today at the MaRS Centre by the United Arab Emirates Minister of Economy, Eng. Sultan Saed Al Mansoori, and MaRS Discovery District CEO, Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, the agreement will encourage both parties to explore collaboration opportunities and possible joint venture projects for SMEs. It will also open the door to new prospects for Canadian high-growth startups looking to expand to foreign markets, and enable access to investment opportunities in Canada for the UAE Ministry of Economy and its private sector partners.

As part of the agreement, MaRS will share its experience and expertise to help the UAE Ministry of Economy set up a national innovation centre, consulting on a range of topics, including entrepreneurship programs, mentorship models and other business issues relevant to building young innovative firms.

“There is keen interest internationally in MaRS’ operating model and the dynamic technology startups we advise,” said Dr. Ilse Treurnicht, MaRS CEO. “We are honoured that MaRS has been identified as a global best practice by the UAE. From our perspective, it is essential to develop strategic partnerships that create soft landings for these promising businesses in global markets. Our collaboration with the UAE Ministry of Economy presents an exciting opportunity to attract investment and accelerate market access in one of the world’s important economic regions.”

As part of the agreement, MaRS and the UAE Ministry of Economy will also explore the development of an exchange program for young entrepreneurs to enhance their expertise and awareness.

About MaRS

MaRS Discovery District (www.marsdd.com) (Twitter: @MaRSDD) is a mission-driven innovation centre located in Toronto. MaRS works with partners to catalyze, accelerate and amplify innovation. MaRS supports entrepreneurs building Canada’s next generation of growth companies.

For more information, contact:

Chris Stevenson
Director, Communications
(416) 673-8104