Startup of the Week: NOMADD offers revolutionary solutions for the Saudi Arabia’s clean energy sector

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Updated 15 October 2019

Startup of the Week: NOMADD offers revolutionary solutions for the Saudi Arabia’s clean energy sector

  • The NOMADD robots are equipped with specially designed brushes with drive motors and sophisticated control systems

JEDDAH: NOMADD is a King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) startup that aspires to contribute to the growing clean energy sector with its leading photovoltaics cleaning system based in Saudi Arabia.
According to Georg Eitelhuber, chief technical officer and cofounder of NOMADD, the company will enable more widespread use of solar photovoltaics in the country while conserving water resources and utilizing the full potential of solar energy.
NOMADD is a system designed, developed and tested in the Kingdom to suit local and regional conditions. “Wherever there is sun and wherever there is a desert, that is where NOMADD is and wills to be,” Eitelhuber told Arab News.
In desert climates, solar panels are often exposed to harsh weather conditions that may affect their function and require constant maintenance.
According to Eitelhuber, dust can prevent sunlight from reaching solar cells. Consequently, the panel may lose up to 60 percent of its capability to produce power during and after sandstorms.
Therefore, panels should be cleaned daily because if the dust is left for more than a day, dust particles from organics, dew, and sulfur adhere to the panels and damage them.
After extensive research, NOMADD founders concluded whatever they created to clean solar panels needed to be a waterless, automatic mechanical device. From those characteristics, they came up with the name NOMADD, which stands for: NO water, Mechanical Automated Dusting Device.
The name is also a tribute to nomadic peoples living in the desert. “In this part of the world, the very harsh environment makes moving through the desert constantly and regularly not easy, and the people who were able to do that for thousands of years are extremely tough. We believe that our product is part of that spirit of toughness in the desert,” said Eitelhuber.
The first idea of NOMADD goes back to 2010. “I was out in the field where they had a small solar area back then, and there was an official inauguration for this solar field … the panels were so dirty so we called the housekeeping department to come and clean them.”
Solar energy was still new in the region at that time. Eitelhuber found that no accurate solution had ever been thought about before. “I had the vision that there will be a large scale of solar panels in the Middle East, and it would be great to have a solution ready for it,” he said.
The NOMADD robots are equipped with specially designed brushes with drive motors and sophisticated control systems. The robots communicate wirelessly with a central hub that can be accessed from anywhere in the world, via any mobile device, which allows the client to monitor the robots and collect and analyze data.
NOMADD has six founders, and 15 people working full time for them worldwide, eight based at KAUST. The team is growing fast, and they hope to have 20 to 25 people by the end of the year.
Reliability of the product is everything for NOMADD’s team. Constant evaluation of the quality and expansion of the service is key to their success. Their biggest goal is to be recognized as the world’s leader in desert solar cleaning solutions.


Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

Updated 15 November 2019

Misk Initiatives Center signs 12 deals to develop youth talent

  • MoUs with top firms such as Chinese tech giant Huawei, French oil major Total open new opportunities

RIYADH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Foundation Misk Initiatives Center has signed 12 memorandums of understanding (MoU) on the sidelines of the Misk Global Forum in Riyadh with local and international companies to support and develop youth talent.

Among the companies were the Chinese tech giant Huawei, the French oil firm Total, the Emirati Federal Youth Authority, and the Ministry of Economy and Planning.

The agreements stipulated joint work between the two parties in the fields of talent development in Saudi Arabia and information and communications technology, in accordance with the National Transformation Program 2020 and the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. 

This initiative aims to find ways of cooperation and employment opportunities between the two parties.

The MoU signed between the center and the Emirati Federal Youth Authority provides for the enhancement of joint cooperation in support of youth. 

The two parties will seek to discuss future cooperation, to build a strategic partnership between the two parties in exploring potential cooperative opportunities and setting a framework for such cooperation, in addition to organizing the exchange of technologies and innovations through the joint organization of courses, forums and workshops.

The MoU aims at creating a specialized scientific dialogue between the two parties, conducting joint research at the institutes in the field of entrepreneurship and the skills of the future, considering launching joint initiatives, and examining the possibilities of cooperative programs based on the extensive experience of Misk and the Federal Youth Authority.

Misk’s Initiatives Center agreement with Total will promote joint cooperation, find training opportunities for Saudi talent at the company’s headquarters and facilities, and cooperate on educational programs that support entrepreneurship and an ecosystem for startup companies, especially in the fields of energy and technology.

The Misk Global Forum also witnessed the signing of a MoU with “Hub71” to promote learning and leadership among Saudi youth, and enhance opportunities for joint collaboration, in addition to two MoUs with 500 startups and seed stars “to promote joint cooperation between the two parties, to develop and grow the business of startups and provide them with the necessary
environment.”

Misk also signed a MoU with the Public Institution for Education and Global Leadership to promote joint cooperation and achieve the objectives of both sides, to support innovation initiatives that instill the entrepreneurial mindset of young people, as well as the establishment and organization of entrepreneurship approaches. 

Both parties agreed to focus on exploring potential collaborative opportunities related to the Entrepreneurship World Cup, and establish a competition with competitors coming from 170 countries.

Both parties also agreed to support international competitions aimed at identifying the best solutions in various fields and sectors, as well as exchanging programs on entrepreneurship and innovation.

The center has signed a MoU with the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to discuss the possibility of providing training programs and courses for the center’s employees of the Fund and the relevant authorities. In addition to discussing available opportunities for cooperative training within the Fund, and providing opportunities for participation and contribution of the Fund’s staff in Misk’s programs.

The MoU aims to explore the benefits of existing agreements between the two parties with international financial and educational institutions, in order to find opportunities that provide programs, training and educational courses, and granting cooperative trainings for Saudi youth in those global institutions.

The center also signed a MoU with the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), aiming to enhance joint cooperation on educational technology and its integration into the educational systems in the Islamic world.

An MoU with King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) will enhance the cooperation between the two parties in several initiatives, including academic development, training, entrepreneurship and innovation programs.

An MoU with Endeavor Saudi Arabia will support the Kingdom’s youth, enhance their talents and potential, stimulate economic growth, and find ways of cooperation between the two parties that serve their common interests.

The center’s MoU with the Ministry of Economy and Planning aims to spread awareness, provide new information on the education and training of human resources in the administrative and economic fields, youth empowerment, and coordinate efforts to raise their abilities.

The MoU aims to create cooperative training opportunities in local and international institutions with the purpose of workforce growth in the Kingdom’s economic sector, contributing to the development of national competencies in the economy, policies and procedures, strategic planning, in addition to providing job opportunities for graduates from areas that serve the interests of both parties and support the achievement of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.