Future Now, the innovation programme of UAE-based telco Etisalat, has signed agreements with four companies to develop artificial intelligence (AI) and Blockchain solutions.

The signing ceremony also marked the opening of the Future Now scale-up collaborative space for Etisalat Digital’s partners - Yitu Technology (China), Com IoT Technologies (UAE), 300cubits (Hong Kong), and Tradefin (US), state news agency WAM reported.

As part of the fifth group of Dubai Future Accelerators, Etisalat Digital launched three challenges to companies across the world in July.

Etisalat Digital selected two companies - Yitu Technology and Com IoT Technologies - for the first challenge that sought to leverage AI for video surveillance systems and create solutions that would reduce crime rates and road congestion.

The challenge focused on scale-ups that could deliver solutions that would analyse behaviour and predict crime-related patterns, in addition to enhancing transportation issues like congestion and accidents, and take automated decisions with the use of AI on existing video surveillance systems.

The second challenge addresses the use of Blockchain to reduce the transactional costs and complexity in business processes for banks, governments and private organisations, with the goal of reducing the costs and complexity by 40 percent over five years. 300cubits was selected for this challenge.

Tradefin was selected for the third challenge that focuses on the adoption of Blockchain to enable exchange across various loyalty currencies and to transform a loyalty currency into a cryptocurrency that can be used to perform online and physical transactions.

WAM said the partnerships will fast-track the deployment of the latest technologies to avail them to Etisalat’s client base. The scale-up programme is a key pillar of the Future Now ecosystem that aims to provide a collaborative platform for innovators, partners and customers to expedite the adoption of such cutting-edge technologies.