Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme: A Chance to Receive up to USD 100,000

Applicants are invited to apply for the 5th cycle of the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme that aims to fund novel and innovative solutions that encapsulate the spirit of Expo 2020 Dubai’s overall theme: ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’.

The programme awards funding of up to USD 100,000 each to social enterprises, startups and grassroots projects from around the world, based on their potential to impact the environment positively and generate real social value.

Expo Live is funding solutions in both developed and less developed markets, building a platform for knowledge exchange and co-creation. Entrepreneurs, SMEs, non-profit organisations and government entities are encouraged to submit their solutions for consideration.

The Innovation Impact Grant Programme looks for projects that need support to reach their full potential. This is by providing much-needed funding, business guidance and promotion to both developed and less developed markets. This builds a platform and opportunity for knowledge exchange and co-creation.

Funding levels will depend on the stage of maturity and scalability of innovations, its capacity to implement and grow, and the extent of its impacts among others. Beyond grant funding, successful grant recipients will also have access to networking and partnership opportunities, marketing and communications exposure, as well as additional funding, enabling their solutions to be showcased during Expo 2020 Dubai.

The programme will also build partnerships with local business incubators, accelerators, mentors and investors in order to strengthen and promote active and productive ecosystems.

Focus Areas for Funding

The focus areas for innovative solutions under each subtheme are intentionally broad. This is to ensure maximum inclusion and to allow creative ideas from across the world to emerge.

  • Opportunity
    • Unlocking the potential with individuals and communities to shape a better future.
  • Mobility
    • Creating smarter and more productive movement of people, goods and ideas.
  • Sustainability
    • Living in balance with our planet.

Eligibility Criteria

The Grant Programme is an inclusive programme open to problem solvers from around the world ranging from social entrepreneurs, SMEs, non-for-profit organisations, and government related entities.


  • Successful applicants will be able to demonstrate how new innovations, or the novel application of existing solutions, could lead to an impressive impact at the community level. The Grant Programme seeks to fund advance-stage projects, which are currently in the demonstration and implementation phase.
  • The following five criteria will be used to evaluate proposals:
    • Relevance to Theme and Subthemes
      • Does the project create new connections to help solve global challenges in Opportunity, Mobility and/or Sustainability? Will it bring together different technologies, involve more than one discipline or make cross-border connections?
    • New or Innovative Solution
      • Will the project capture the imagination and inspire? Does the project have the potential to be showcased before or during Expo 2020 Dubai?
    • Target Beneficiaries
      • Does the project clearly identify the community that it impacts? Can they monitor and evaluate the current and intended impacts?
    • Replication and Scalability
      • Is the project or solution ready for demonstration or transition to-scale implementation? How will additional funding support the further development of the innovation or the scaling of the project?
    • Sound Business Plan
      • Is the project or business plan well-conceived? Does the applicant have the capacity to implement the project? Is the requested grant amount reasonable and proportionate to the anticipated impacts?

Evaluation Criteria

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

  • Impact
    • Who is benefitting, or intended to benefit, from the solution? Are the benefits meaningful?
  • Quality of submission
    • Is the submission substantial?
  • Alignment with Expo 2020 Dubai objectives
    • Is the project relevant to the Expo theme and subthemes?
  • Innovativeness
    • How does the solution differ from existing solutions? Is it meaningful and inspiring?

How to Apply

Interested applicants can apply online via the given website.

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