KAUST trains 100 Saudi tech champs at bootcamp

Over 100 participants and mentors gathered on the KAUST campus in Thuwal for five days of intensive training at the first bootcamp hosted on the university’s campus.
Updated 17 July 2019

KAUST trains 100 Saudi tech champs at bootcamp

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is hosting three entrepreneurship bootcamps in support of the Tech Champions program by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT). Over 100 participants and mentors gathered on the KAUST campus in Thuwal for five days of intensive training at the first bootcamp hosted on the university’s campus.

Designed to achieve the Kingdom’s objectives of forming a digital economy, the bootcamps are the first step in the Tech Champions program focused on creating digital business solutions in various industries including e-commerce, health, and smart cities, in addition to sports and entertainment, and Hajj. 

The entrepreneurs worked through training sessions with the Entrepreneurship Center at KAUST by designing and developing their startup ideas through intensive mentorship, prototyping, and access to the latest innovation trends. 

The event ended with a mock showcase competition where startups were given two minutes to pitch their tech ideas to an audience, followed with three minutes of Q&A, and another three minutes of feedback from the judges.

Aside from top-tier mentorship and exposure to global and local investors, the startups benefited from access to over 40 partners in the private and government sectors of the Kingdom. 

“This is a fantastic initiative in partnership with MCIT to challenge young people to go beyond digital technologies and look at emerging and deep technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. We are helping them learn how to apply these to create the businesses of the future,” said Kevin Cullen, vice president for innovation and economic development at KAUST. 

KAUST and MCIT are committed to common goals of supporting the Kingdom’s efforts toward achieving digital transformation and becoming a leading global entrepreneurial hub. 

Ahmed Altheneyan, deputy minister for technology industry and digital capacities at MCIT, said: “The rapid evolutions in the use of artificial intelligence systems, robotics, IoT and large data, force us to assess and bridge the current existing and the future digital skills gap in the Kingdom.”


Line-up for FIKR17 conference in Saudi Arabia announced

Updated 13 November 2019

Line-up for FIKR17 conference in Saudi Arabia announced

The Arab Thought Foundation has announced the agenda of this year’s annual conference, FIKR17, in partnership with King Abdulaziz Center for World Culture “Ithra”, held under the theme “Towards a New Arab Thinking.”
The conference will be held in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia between 2-5 December 2019.
FIKR17 will bring together high-level officials, politicians, intellectuals, and media personalities led by Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation, and Arab League Secretary General Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit. Over the course of FIKR17, these thought leaders will provide deep understanding and paths to solutions for key questions facing the Arab World and its future, including:

  • What are the challenges of technology, science and modern approaches to knowledge?
  • Where are we currently from renewing our societies and social concepts?
  • Where does the Arab individual stand within the international system, and how does he tackle the subject of globalization while defending an interactive identity that is open to the world?
  • Where are Arab intellectuals in their attempts to renew the Arab thought, and in building a renewed philosophy capable of making contributions to the global effort of contemporary thought?

Conference Program Details
Monday, December 2: FIKR17 will open with a formal ceremony at 7:00 pm, including a speech by Professor Dr. Henry Awit, Director General of the Arab Thought Foundation, followed by a speech from the representative of “Ithra”, the Lead Partner of the conference. It will also include speeches by Arab League Secretary General Mr. Ahmed Aboul Gheit and HRH Prince Khalid Al-Faisal, President of the Arab Thought Foundation.
Tuesday, December 3: FIKR17 will start with an opening session titled “Arab Thought and Innovation Prospects,” followed by the first general session entitled “Today’s world…tomorrow’s world: transformations, challenges, and visions”.
In addition, four specialized sessions will be held under the following headlines:. Delivering new educational policies to help build a new Arab Thought, The role of social and human sciences in renewing Arab Thought, New perspectives on the concepts of state, citizenship and participation, Pluralism and the culture of tolerance and social peace.
Wednesday, December 4: The conference will continue with four specialized morning sessions covering the topics of ” Towards a new understanding of growth, Industry and manufacturing:analysis of pillars for development, Digital Economy, The role of civic society in renewing Arab Thought.
In the afternoon, the second general session will be held on the “4th Industrial Revolution” followed by reports on youth discussion groups.
Thursday, December 5: The conference will conclude with detailed reports on the specialized sessions. At 12:00 pm, the third general session titled “Arab Intellectuals and Their Role in Arab Thought Renewal” will be held, followed by the closing remarks.