'World's first' Arabic-speaking robot looks for funding
11 September 2010 Last updated at 22:52 BST
The UAE University in Abu Dhabi has built the world's first fully automated Arabic-speaking robot that can have intelligent conversations with humans - based on information gathered via the internet and through social networking sites.
However, making the leap from lab project to commercial application remains difficult - largely because of funding.
In Dubai, a series of networking events have been launched in an effort to bring together investors and entrepreneurs.
Ben Thompson went along to see if the meetings can spark a wave of innovation for the region.