Saudi Arabia’s RPDC to launch first robot to drive offshore oil operations: CEO

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Updated 29 April 2022

Saudi Arabia’s RPDC to launch first robot to drive offshore oil operations: CEO

Saudi Arabia’s RPDC to launch first robot to drive offshore oil operations: CEO
  • RPDC, which helps local patent holders commercialize their ideas and turn them into products, worked with Saudi Aramco to develop its first robotic prototype to support offshore oil operations

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s Research Products Development Co., a subsidiary of PIF-owned TAQNIA, is launching its first robotic prototype this year to support offshore oil operations, its CEO said.  

“The robot will be used to inspect leakage in pipelines under the water,” RPDC CEO Abdulmohsen Almajnouni told Arab News.

RPDC, which helps local patent holders commercialize their ideas and turn them into products, worked with Saudi Aramco to develop this prototype.

“The prototype’s patent is owned by Aramco, and it’s developed and tested by RPDC’s team led by international robotic expert Nahid Sidki,” said Almajnouni. The robot will soon be ready for full-scale production.

Strategic alliances

RPDC was established as an effective technology development and commercialization engine by the Saudi Arabia Advanced Research Alliance.

SAARA is the first-of-its-kind alliance between leading organizations from the public and private sectors. The founding partners include Saudi Aramco, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, TAQNIA and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals. 




RPDC CEO, Abdulmohsen Almajnouni 

RPDC aims to bridge the gap between national research and development and the market by developing technology innovation and patents into successful business opportunities.

The Riyadh-based company has successfully enhanced and developed technology innovation in the Kingdom and generated good revenue within eight years of its creation, Almajnouni said.

Before the creation of RPDC, patent applications in the Kingdom ended on the shelves, and no real action was taken to adopt them. Things changed after the company became operational.

Almajnouni added: “So, the idea was how can we establish an entity that takes the best practices in the world to develop this IP or even better advance the IP into a final product?”

Harnessing innovation

The company has been doing plenty of work on the intellectual property front for the last eight years and with great success.

“We have been doing this now over the last eight years. Of course, we have had a lot of challenges, but I can say proudly that recently we were able to kick-start three main projects and other various products,” Almajnouni said.

HIGHLIGHTS

• The robot will be used to inspect leakage in pipelines under the water.

• RPDC, which helps local patent holders commercialize their ideas and turn them into products, worked with Saudi Aramco to develop this prototype.

• The prototype’s patent is owned by Aramco, and it’s developed and tested by RPDC’s team led by international robotic expert Nahid Sidki.

He added that over the past five years, the company has grown successfully thanks to the support of the firm’s founders, shareholders, government support and Saudi Aramco’s scientific endeavors. “I can proudly tell you that we are a company with around 30 people, and I would have a stable income stream in tens of millions of dollars annually. We execute various projects depending on their stage of commercialization. In addition, RPDC conducted market assessments for new companies,” Almajnouni told Arab News.

Almajnouni stressed that the company generates income from its partners like Aramco and SABIC. 




Nahid Sidki, chief technology officer of Research Products Development Company.

“The income comes from our customers because we are part of the Public Investment Fund. So, we are obligated to be a profit center. That means we offer services to our clients, and they pay for the services,” he added.

The other service provided by the RPDC is a strategic partnership with consultant firms. “But the challenge has always been how to take an IP from the lab to the industry,” Almajnouni said.

“We assess these IPs,” he continued, “we evaluate them as to which one would ultimately lead to a product that is needed and can be sold. So, we do this service called the intellectual property or patent review on assessment.”

Taking it to the drawing board

Almajnouni noted that the product the company receives is tested thoroughly by the technical team before drawing up a business plan.

“It should be a product that you can take; you can test it and understand how it works. You can even further improve it.

FASTFACTS

• RPDC was established as an effective technology development and commercialization engine by the Saudi Arabia Advanced Research Alliance.

• SAARA is the first-of-its-kind alliance between leading organizations from the public and private sectors. The founding partners include Saudi Aramco, King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology, King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, TAQNIA and King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals.

The other thing we do is prepare a complete business plan for clients, which includes an assessment, a market review followed by prototyping.”

Almajnouni admitted that the IP market, in general, is quite challenging.

Because this is a very challenging market, IP development is risky. I’m not sure how any company can grow easily because many of these IPs will take time,” he said.

A patent may not hit the market, or maybe it will. But what cannot be stopped is an idea whose time has come.


UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy
Updated 19 August 2022

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

UK’s Liz Truss says defining mission will be reviving the economy

LONDON: The frontrunner to be Britain’s next prime minister Liz Truss said her government’s defining mission would be to revive the economy as she set out a series of measures to help parts of northern England.
Britain’s economic performance has lagged behind those of the United States, Italy and France in recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. The economy is expected to enter a long downturn at the end of the year amid surging inflation and rising interest rates.
“The defining mission of my government will be to get our economy growing again, cutting taxes to put more money into the pockets of hardworking people,” Truss said.
Outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson had said reducing regional economic inequality was his main goal. But public spending in the north of England fell behind the national average in the first two years of his government, research by the Institute for Public Policy Research has shown.
Truss said she was committed to the current government’s goal of reducing economic inequalities but would do so in a “Conservative way,” interpreted as meaning a focus on tax cuts and deregulation.
Speaking ahead of election hustings in Manchester in northern England on Friday, Truss pledged to provide more devolution, to ensure poorer areas receive the government funding they need, and to build two new vocational colleges in the north of England that will be “the vocational equivalent of Oxford and Cambridge,” dubbed “Voxbridge.”
Truss has portrayed herself as a radical insurgent who would overturn the current failed orthodoxy and has proposed to reverse more than £30 billion ($36 billion) of tax rises.


UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund
Updated 18 August 2022

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

UAE-based tech firm launches $10bn fund in partnership with Abu Dhabi Growth Fund

RIYADH: G42, a UAE-based technology company, launched a $10 billion G42 Expansion Fund in partnership with the Abu Dhabi Growth Fund to invest in late-stage companies.

Managed by a G42 subsidiary, the fund will focus on growth companies in computing, communication technology, intelligent mobility, clean tech, digital infrastructure, fintech, healthcare, and life sciences, Wamda reported.

“With the G42 Expansion Fund, we aim to accelerate our global impact not only through the deployment of capital, but also by providing unique access to our networks, management, and operational assets to our portfolio companies,” Peng Xiao, group CEO at G42 and chairman of the G42 Expansion Fund’s Investment Committee, said in a statement.

 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 

Updated 18 August 2022

Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


Saudi-based fintech partners with SNB to support SMEs 


RIYADH: CASHIN, a Saudi-based fintech and point-of-sale provider, signed a partnership with the Saudi National Bank to support small and medium enterprises.

The partnership will facilitate management of transactions for business activities like receiving payments and sales with immediate bank settlements.

“We are proud to be an active element in the national transformation journey within the financial sector by providing innovative products in the field of fintech and information systems,” CASHIN CEO Omar Al-Ramah said in a statement.

Founded in 2021, CASHIN is providing its services to over 10,000 businesses in more than 30 sectors with transactions at around $800 million, MAGNiTT reported.


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition

Updated 18 August 2022

Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


Global tech event LEAP22 receives 5 Gold Awards for its inaugural edition


RIYADH: The inaugural LEAP22 International Technology Conference won five Gold Awards at the 19th Annual International Business Awards, according to a statement. 

Competing with over 3,700 nominations from organizations across 67 countries, LEAP clinched the best award for Tech Event, B2B Event, Launch Event, Conference Event, and Exhibition Experience.

In its first edition held in early February 2022 for three days, under the theme “An Eye on the Future,” over 509 speakers speakers participated in the event with over 100,000 conference’s visits.

It also announced investments worth $6.4 billion, in the presence of more than 700 international companies, over 1,500 startups, and 330 investment funds.

The Annual International Business Awards, also known as Stevie Awards, were created in 2002 to honor and generate public recognition of the achievements and positive contributions of organizations and working professionals.

LEAP Conference was organized by Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in cooperation with the Saudi Federation of Cybersecurity, Programming, and Drones. 


Oil up 4% on US crude stocks data, tight supply outlook

Oil up 4% on US crude stocks data, tight supply outlook
Updated 18 August 2022

Oil up 4% on US crude stocks data, tight supply outlook

Oil up 4% on US crude stocks data, tight supply outlook

NEW YORK: Oil prices gained about 4 percent on Thursday as robust US fuel consumption data and an expected drop in Russian supply later in the year offset concerns that slowing economic growth could undercut demand.

Brent futures rose $3.41, or 3.6 percent, to $97.06 a barrel by 2:16 p.m. EDT (1816 GMT), while US West Texas Intermediate crude rose $3, or 3.4 percent, to $91.11.

Prices rose more than 1 percent during the previous session, although Brent at one point fell to its lowest since February, as signs of a slowdown mounted in some places.

The oil complex is “advancing off the big (US) crude stock draw, increased product demand and (the) apparent stall in Iranian nuclear negotiations,” analysts at energy consulting firm Ritterbusch and Associates said in a note.

US. crude stocks fell by 7.1 million barrels in the week to Aug. 12, Energy Information Administration data showed, against expectations for a 275,000-barrel drop, as exports hit a record 5 million barrels per day.

Bans by the EU on Russian exports could dramatically tighten supply when curbs to seaborne crude and products imports into the bloc ramp up in coming months and drive up prices, analysts warn.

“The EU embargoes will force Russia to shut in around 1.6 million (bpd) of output by year-end, rising to 2 million bpd in 2023,” consultancy BCA research said in a note. “EU embargoes on Russian oil imports will significantly tighten markets and lift Brent to $119 a barrel by year-end.”

Russia, however, forecasts rising output and exports until the end of 2025, an economy ministry document seen by Reuters showed, saying revenue from energy exports will rise 38 percent this year, partly due to higher oil export volumes.

More cautious

Preventing oil prices from rising too high was the possibility of increased supplies from Iran and worries that demand could drop if China imposes more lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID-19, along with slowing economic growth as central banks raise interest rates to control runaway inflation.

The market is awaiting developments from talks to revive Iran’s 2015 nuclear deal with world powers, which could lead to a roughly 1 million bpd boost in Iranian oil exports.

“We may be seeing traders taking a more cautious approach considering how close a decision on the Iran nuclear deal appears to be,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA. “There remains plenty of doubt that it will get over the line but if it does, that could be the catalyst for another move lower.”