Major initiative launched to empower young Saudis

The program will run for 28 weeks in Riyadh. (File/AN photo)
Updated 04 December 2019

Major initiative launched to empower young Saudis

  • Misk and Qiddiya join hands to train youths

JEDDAH: The Prince Mohammed bin Salman Foundation’s (Misk) Initiatives Center in collaboration with the Qiddiya Investment Co. (QIC) has launched yet another training program to prepare young Saudis for the future and empower them to efficiently contribute to Saudi Vision 2030.

Following the launch of Misk/Amaala and the success of the first Misk/Qiddiya internship program, the center launched the second Misk/Qiddiya program through the “Fellowship and Training” initiative to create a comprehensive learning experience for recent university graduates in hospitality, business, engineering, information technology and entertainment.

The program will run for 28 weeks in Riyadh, and will provide trainees with an opportunity to work alongside senior team members in many fields, preparing them for large-scale develop-ment projects.

The Qiddiya project is one of the major schemes under the umbrella of Saudi Vision 2030. It was launched by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in April 2018. It aims to become a pioneering entertainment destination located around 40 km from the center
of Riyadh.

With a total area of 334 sq. km, Qiddiya is 2.5 times the size of Walt Disney World. The project is expected to have 300 activities from five entertainment sectors, to be one of four large projects owned by the Kingdom’s Public Investment Fund. It is also expected to shape Saudi Arabia’s new economy, along with the Amaala, Red Sea and Neom projects.

Interns participating in the Misk/Qiddiya program will learn about Qiddiya’s concept, values and objectives, and get an opportunity to visit the site to view construction work. Then an intensive induction and orientation phase will begin with interns joining their relevant teams in the following weeks, working alongside the project’s experts to complete a number of professional missions.

In the last week of the program, participants will complete an individual project, which will be assessed by a committee from Misk and the QIC. The graduation project is a rare chance for trainees to receive job offers at QIC upon completion.

Registration ends on Dec. 14, 2019, and the 28-week program will be officially launched on Jan. 19, 2020.

Interested people can visit Misk website for details or follow the link to apply: https://misk.org.sa/fellowship/services/qiddiya-internship-program/


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.