Insomnia Gaming Festival wraps up in Riyadh

Insomnia Saudi Arabia is the largest e-gaming festival in the Middle East. (Supplied)
Updated 02 December 2019

Insomnia Gaming Festival wraps up in Riyadh

  • The event attracted a large audience, entertained by theater performances presented by American DJ Hero Best and free dance shows
  • The final day of the festival witnessed the grand finale of Tekken, where Saudi world champion Sari Al-Jafri won the first place prize

RIYADH: The four-day Insomnia Gaming Festival, the UK’s premier gaming industry event — held as part of the Riyadh Season at Riyadh Front — concluded on Saturday.

The event attracted a large audience, entertained by theater performances presented by American DJ Hero Best and free dance shows.

The final day of the festival witnessed the grand finale of “Tekken,” where Saudi world champion Sari Al-Jafri won the first place prize.

Gaming fans also enjoyed the tournament finals of “Dota”, “Rainbow 6”, “Counter Strike” and, in the individual category, “Fortnite”, “Overwatch”, “FIFA”, “Mortal Kombat” and “Apex Legends.”

Insomnia Saudi Arabia is the largest e-gaming festival in the Middle East, taking visitors on an unforgettable journey of excitement and fun, thanks to the best and latest games.

The event includes competitive tournaments, the latest virtual reality technologies and games, in addition to international guests, bands, mobile games, board games, retro games, cosplay costumes and many other events and prizes.

The festival was accompanied by a 9,500 square meter exhibition with the participation of companies such as Microsoft, PUBG, Sony, EPIC GAMES — producers of “Fortnite” — Ubisoft, Blizzard, Blehira, Gamers Half, Multi Creators, Lenovo, Samsung and GamersDZ. 

Saudi youth had a strong presence during the exhibition, selling games developed and manufactured by them.

The Riyadh Season kicked off on Oct. 11 and runs until the end of January 2020, with various events aimed at all segments of society.


Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially. (AN photos by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 21 January 2020

Startup of the Week: A Saudi Eco-friendly food waste startup brings value-added benefits

  • Aldrees: “Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills”
  • Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids

Carbon CPU is a biotechnology startup specializing in turning food waste into fatty acids for use as livestock nutrients.

Launched through the post-graduate startup accelerator program (TAQADAM) of King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST), the venture was co-founded by Bin Bian, Jiajie Xu, Yara Aldrees, Sara Al-Eid and Prof. Pascal Saikaly.

The idea behind the enterprise began to take shape in 2018. Al-Eid said: “Our aim was to recycle food waste into value-added products in a manner that matched the Saudi Vision 2030 strategy.”

Similar to most countries, Saudi Arabia has a food waste problem, but Carbon CPU thought of utilizing it in a way that caused less harm to the environment and also benefitted the animal feed industry.

“Over 90 percent of food waste in Saudi Arabia is dumped into landfills,” said Aldrees. “This produces a lot of gas, including methane, carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide and cycloaromatics, and contributes to global warming and air pollution.”

Water and soil were also being contaminated through leachate production, she added. “We’re trying to solve those issues, too.”

 

The team found that animal farms often struggled to provide enough feed nutrients for livestock such as cows and sheep. Al-Eid said there was a huge shortage of fatty acids, which are used as livestock nutrients and were in high demand from farmers.

“We’re trying to help animals live longer and be more nutritious,” she added.

Carbon CPU’s technology uses a specially developed, eco-friendly reactor to help convert food waste into fatty acids.

“We produce fatty acids from the food waste, extracting them through a liquid-liquid extraction system. The fatty acid oils are then used to help animal feed, as well as the feed and chemical industries,” said Xu.

KAUST has been highly supportive of Carbon CPU, both technically and financially, added Bian. “KAUST, especially the Environmental Biotechnology Lab led by Prof Pascal Saikaly, provided us with the facilities to set up our reactors. The KAUST Innovation and Economic Development department and the Entrepreneurship Center also gave us a lot of guidance on how to push our technology into the market.”

The startup initially faced many challenges that KAUST helped to resolve. As individuals coming from backgrounds mainly in engineering and science, the team lacked the know-how in business that its project needed.

“KAUST made up for our lack of business thinking through training on how to solve business issues and create business modules and find the right customers for our product,” said Bian.