SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors

The event, which ran from Sept. 30 until Oct. 2 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition center, attracted 20,000 visitors from 35 countries.
Updated 05 October 2019

SFDA conference draws 200 companies, 20,000 visitors

The third Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA) Annual Conference and Exhibition 2019 concluded recently. The event was held under the sponsorship of Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah and SFDA CEO Dr. Hisham Al-Jadhey. 

More than 200 companies and 80 international exhibitors representing a total of 3,500 brands participated in the exhibition. This included the participation of 20 countries and 220 investors from countries such as Denmark, Pakistan, India, Jordan, Bangladesh, Australia and Sudan.

The event, which ran from Sept. 30 until Oct. 2 at the Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition center, attracted 20,000 visitors from 35 countries. 

The conference presented 68 scientific workshops in addition to discussion sessions, during which 120 speakers specializing in different disciplines participated.

Al-Jadhey said that the scientific program presented this year aims to activate the role of the consumer in protecting society, in line with the objectives of the SFDA.

Mazen Al-Ismail, chairman of the organizing committee, credited the partnership between the public and private sectors for the success of the event.

“What distinguishes this year’s conference from the previous years is the huge media coverage, which in turn contributes to its marketing globally, and in increasing the number of local and international participation,” he added.


KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

Updated 24 September 2020

KAUST’s conscious investor program region’s first

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has partnered with the investment platform VentureSouq, startAD, the Abu Dhabi-based global accelerator anchored at New York University Abu Dhabi (NYUAD), and its partner Tamkeen, to launch the first Conscious Investor Fellowship in the GCC. The pan-regional fellowship is a six-week virtual program dedicated to enabling regional investors in the GCC to create sustainable change through impact investments. The program, which will take place from Oct. 7 to Nov. 25, comes as part of the upcoming annual Angel Rising Symposium, to be held virtually between Nov. 24-25, which provides education and conversations on the future of the angel investment sector and how it can fuel national and regional innovation.

The fellowship aims to empower the next generation of regional mission-driven investors who will fuel emerging ventures using technology for meaningful change, resulting in a measurable positive impact. Twenty-five investors from family offices, corporate and government entities will be welcomed as fellows of this inaugural cohort, where they will learn how to identify and invest into tech-enabled impact-driven startups.

The program will cover conscious investment strategies, startup diligence and valuations, impact measurement, portfolio management, and global sector trends in the impact space. Elective thematic masterclasses will also be offered, with a specific focus on health tech, educational tech, environmental tech, and agricultural tech. Participants will be able to apply their knowledge and invest in live deals through VentureSouq’s Conscious Collective Fund. The inaugural edition is held in collaboration with the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Center and Hub71.

Hattan Ahmed, head of the KAUST Entrepreneurship Center, said: “KAUST is driven by a mission to advance research and create new technologies that address our greatest global challenge in food, water, energy, and the environment. We are starting to see more deep tech startups emerging from the ecosystem, disrupting existing industries and creating new solutions to these challenges. The Conscious Investor Fellowship is a key step to advancing this ecosystem and educating regional investors about the potential of emerging technologies and their long-term value. For Saudi Arabia in particular, there is a unique opportunity to nurture this deep tech ecosystem for real economic transformation.”

Ramesh Jagannathan, research professor of engineering, vice provost for entrepreneurship at NYUAD, and managing director of startAD, said: “Conscious investment is a growing global force, accelerated by the ongoing impacts of the global pandemic. In the UAE, and specifically Abu Dhabi, we have a unique opportunity to engage with this global trend, given that the emirate has the highest net potential wealth globally.”