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The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Free Zone (EIFZ)​

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Free Zone (EIFZ)​

About EIFZ

The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Free Zone (EIFZ), established under the University of Dubai’s umbrella, is a research and consultancy platform operating in tandem with San Diego State University’s Center for Information Convergence & Strategy (CICS). EIFZ offers a platform for students, alumni, and faculty to network, collaborate, & develop their ideas and support entrepreneurs through various stages of the entrepreneurial and innovation process.

Our Vision is “to become the global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation while nurturing young minds though academia and practice to become domain pioneers”.

The Mission is “to empower the transformation of oil producing economies into leading tomorrow’s global knowledge workforce.”

  • Create a culture that fosters innovation and turns ideas into practice
  • Establish an organic ecosystem that will export innovation to the world
  • Ignite every mind with entrepreneurship and creative opportunities

Activities Of The Center

Core EIFZ Activities

  • Networking Opportunities
  • Educational Workshops
  • Keynote Speakers Selection
  • Industry Visits and Tradeshows
  • Internship Connection
  • Global Conferences


  • Business Case Cup
    Students are encouraged to submit business cases. The business cases will be evaluated by subject matter experts and the annual winners will be announced in December 2015.
  • Business Plan Cup
    Students demonstrate the value proposition of the business, capturing the elements of a business plan in a high-impact power point, video, and executive-summary. The annual winners will be announced in December 2015.
  • Entrepreneurship Cup
    Multi-year challenge presented by corporate partners. Students undergo rigorous mentorship with CICS team to sharpen the ideas and concepts. The final report is presented to VCs. Winners may receive funding/cash prices.




Projects being handled by UD-EIFZ

Projects range from health informatics to trade. There will be a strong emphasis on security and technology.

Mechanism for Selecting Researchers

Project researchers at UD-EIFZ will be recommended by the University of Dubai faculty panel and confirmed after a joint evaluation with CICS (SDSU) leadership to ensure that we maintain a balanced and accountable research force that can think “outside the box” and enable innovation to occur organically.


In general, the selected projects and research opportunities will be open to all. However, the primary research workforce will be made up of researchers from CICS and the UD. Participation of outside members is by invitation only.

Sustainable Development

UD-EIFZ will be an innovation incubator in Dubai where new solutions are created, both for consumption in the United Arab Emirates and as a globally exportable commodity. This is in alignment with the 2025 vision shared by the Ruler of Dubai and the EIFZ leadership. Government and private sectors will be integrated and benefit alike from this initiative. The long-term impact spans beyond commercial markets, towards strengthening and optimizing processes in diverse sectors as a basis for economic sustainability.


Tourism, Finance, Healthcare, Security, Technology, and Trade are the core categories.

Public-Private Partnership

EIFZ invites government and private entities to bring their technological evaluation opportunities to the UD-EIFZ team and to leverage the global talent attached to the center. We work in an advisory role with your organization to bring forward optimal technological solutions that are agile and flexible. We also help to detect and eliminate silos. Remember -“A stitch in time saves nine”.


EIFZ works in collaboration with San Diego State University’s Center for Information Convergence & Strategy (CICS). CICS aims to catalyze and nurture the advancement of San Diego State University as a global leader in knowledge-driven, trans disciplinary thinking and solutions. CICS provides original research and practical technology solutions for integrated mining and analysis of heterogeneous data for diverse partners:
  • Unstructured text and other knowledge artifacts
  • Geographically referenced information
  • Longitudinal and cross-sectional multivariate data
  • Development of a novel executive graduate program in Information Convergence and Strategy
  • Seminars on topics related to information convergence and strategy for national/international audiences