Makkah Cultural Forum launches Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative

KAUST Executive Vice President Nadhmi Al-Nasr
Updated 10 March 2018
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Makkah Cultural Forum launches Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative

JEDDAH: The Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, part of the Makkah Cultural Forum, kicked off on Saturday.
It was organized under the supervision of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) and King Abdul Aziz City for Science and Technology (KACST).
A five-day intensive training program accompanied the initiative, followed by workshops aimed at developing project ideas and choosing the best ones to be supported in preparation for entering the market.
The training program, for which 117 technical entrepreneurship initiatives have been nominated, welcomed 500 participants.
The program’s implementation was supervised by the Badir Program for Technology Incubators, which operates under KAUST.
Mechanisms for creating business models were discussed during the training program, as were concepts of entrepreneurship and innovation, and methods for proposing and discussing ideas.
At the end of the program, projects nominated for the second phase received financial grants to produce prototypes.
Specialized committees comprising KAUST faculty, economic development experts and the Center for Innovation and Saudi Affairs are evaluating all submitted applications to choose the best of them.
Twenty-three nominated projects, in which 33 innovators are taking part — 73 percent of them women — were announced from Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh and Dammam.
KAUST Executive Vice President Nadhmi Al-Nasr said the university will embrace any Saudi who shares his or her ideas and innovations with the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative.
Najah Ashry, the university’s vice president for Saudi affairs, said: “The innovation track offered by KAUST focuses on innovations in technology, software, and innovative products and services in order to launch projects that benefit the Makkah province, provide guidance to support innovations, help innovators turn their ideas into actual products, and connect innovators with sponsors and financiers.”


First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

Updated 22 March 2019
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First Saudi female air traffic controllers begin work

  • Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by Saudi Air Navigation Services

JEDDAH: Saudi Air Navigation Services (SANS) on Wednesday celebrated the appointment and start of work of the first batch of Saudi female air traffic controllers at an air traffic control center in Jeddah.
Eleven women completed a one-year program conducted by SANS in cooperation with the Saudi Academy of Civil Aviation. This is the first program to qualify women to work as air traffic controllers.
The academy initiative, in collaboration with SANS, seeks to create more jobs for women as part of a reform push to wean the economy off oil. Vision 2030 plan aims to increase employment and diversify revenue sources.
Earlier, SANS CEO Ryyan Tarabzoni said the state-owned company was prioritizing the hiring of women in the profession, as the country pushes to extend women’s rights in the country and also recruit more nationals as part of the “Saudization” project.