KAUST attracts 5 global deep tech startups to Kingdom

KAUST attracts 5 global deep tech startups to Kingdom
Five global startups were selected for their technological advancements during KAUST’s Destination Deep Tech program. (Supplied)
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Updated 15 May 2022

KAUST attracts 5 global deep tech startups to Kingdom

KAUST attracts 5 global deep tech startups to Kingdom
  • Destination Deep Tech is an unprecedented Saudi program that aims to create an innovation environment in the Kingdom
  • The five international deep tech startups showed significant growth during the program’s three-month period

JEDDAH: King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has concluded the Destination Deep Tech program, selecting five international startups from Spain, Poland, France, Egypt and Singapore due to their successful expansion into MENA markets.

Destination Deep Tech is an unprecedented Saudi program that aims to create an innovation environment in the Kingdom. Startups are selected for their technological advancements.

The five international deep tech startups showed significant growth during the program’s three-month period, during which they established important collaborative partnerships with immediate impact.

From France, Pasqal is a European startup and pioneer in the field of quantum computing. It provides comprehensive quantum technology solutions through devices and applications.

Insignes-Labs from Poland develops antimicrobials to protect a wide range of materials from defective microbes such as bacteria, algae, fungi and others.

Proteinea, a startup from Egypt, serves as a platform for artificial intelligence technology, deep learning models, and biological automation for protein design and production.

CeEntek, a Singapore-based company, is developing high-performance concrete to increase the sustainability and efficiency of construction projects.

HOPU, from Spain, is developing IoT (Internet of things) devices and sensors based on artificial intelligence technology for applications of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and smart cities. HOPU does so by monitoring air quality, noise and energy consumption.

The program provides the selected deep tech startups with the tools they need to expand their projects, including access to world-class research and development facilities at KAUST, exploring opportunities for collaboration with academia and industry, and providing office space in the on-campus Research and Technology City.

Dr. Kevin Cullen, KAUST vice president for innovation, said: “KAUST is the deep tech heart of the Saudi economy, and we are very pleased to host these talented international startups at our university and in Saudi Arabia through the KAUST Destination Deep Tech Program, which underscores our commitment to developing a strong ecosystem for entrepreneurship.”

Arno Nijhof, director of The Next Web, said: “Through this program, we have leveraged our global and KAUST network to attract leading companies from around the world and provide them with the necessary support so that they could set up offices on campus. We are very proud of the achievements with KAUST in our first group. Together we have managed 80 percent of the companies and supported them to continue to operate successfully from the campus.”

The Destination Deep Tech program was launched at KAUST this year in partnership with The Next Web, an international media organization that supports and connects the global technology environment through media, conferences and innovation services.


Saudi court jails 3 for 18 years for money laundering, fined $133,000

Saudi court jails 3 for 18 years for money laundering, fined $133,000
Updated 55 min 10 sec ago

Saudi court jails 3 for 18 years for money laundering, fined $133,000

Saudi court jails 3 for 18 years for money laundering, fined $133,000
  • The Saudi citizens had issued commercial registers for several entities and opened bank accounts

RIYADH: Two Saudi citizens and one resident have been sentenced to 18 years in jail and fined $133,000 for money laundering, the Saudi Public Prosecution said on Thursday.

Police investigations earlier revealed that the Saudi citizens had issued commercial registers for several entities and opened bank accounts.

The citizens then handed the resident the commercial registers and the bank accounts, through which they made financial transactions and transferred huge sums of money outside the Kingdom, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The Public Prosecution said funds were generated through “illegal” means as the accused used the commercial registers as a cover to transfer the money abroad.

The court ruled confiscating a similar value of the funds transferred abroad and the proceeds of the crimes.

The resident will be deported after serving his jail term, read the Public Prosecution statement.


UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list
Updated 01 December 2022

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list

UNESCO adds Saudi Khawlani coffee, Camel Heda’a to intangible cultural heritage list
  • 11 of Kingdom’s historical practices, items recognized
  • Arabic music, art, dance registered with world body

RIYADH: UNESCO on Wednesday added Saudi Khawlani coffee, and the skills and knowledge associated with its cultivation, and Camel Heda’a to this year’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The decision was taken in Morocco during the annual meeting of the UN’s Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Kingdom, in cooperation with Oman and the UAE, led the joint application to register Camel Heda’a, which is an oral tradition where herders communicate with their animals. The communication includes guiding camels to safety during sandstorms, instructing them to open their mouths to feed and having them drop onto their knees to be mounted.

The registration of Saudi Khawlani coffee involved the efforts of several bodies including the Heritage Commission, Ministry of Culture, the National Committee for Education, Science and Culture, the Permanent Saudi Delegation to UNESCO, the Culinary Authority, and the Saudi Society for the Preservation of Heritage.

Khawlani coffee is one of the most luxurious and famous types in the world and has been cultivated in the south of the Kingdom for more than eight centuries. It is associated with the customs, poetry and songs of the people of the region.

With these new additions, Saudi Arabia has now registered 11 cultural elements with UNESCO including the Majlis, Arabic coffee, the Najdi Ardah dance, the flute, falconry, the Asiri cat, the palm tree, the Sadu weaving craft and Arabic calligraphy.

This registration forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 that aims to document the nation’s rich heritage for future generations locally and abroad.


Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen

Saudi Program delivers 150 homes in Yemen
  • The project also included the repair of 600 homes, benefiting over 4,000 beneficiaries in Aden

RIYADH: The Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen (SDRPY) delivered 150 homes in Aden, Yemen, to improve the living conditions of low-income families.

The new residences were part of the ‘adequate housing’ project, carried out in partnership United Nations Human Settlements Program (UN-HABITAT) and Alwaleed Philanthropies, reported the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

The project also included the repair of 600 homes, benefiting over 4,000 beneficiaries in Aden.

It also provided vocational training for Yemeni construction workers in electricity, solar energy, photography, and painting, and upskilled 40 engineers in advanced geographical information systems, construction project management, specialized procurement and project cost calculation, and technical and economic feasibility studies.

Engineers from the Ministry of Public Works and Roads have also been trained in project management, according to SPA.

Ahmed Medkhali, SDRPY director in Aden, said the project was part of Saudi Arabia’s intensified effort to rehabilitate damaged homes and build safe residences that provide proper living conditions for the Yemeni people.


Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement
Updated 01 December 2022

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

Saudi defense ministry, Spain’s Navantia sign combat ships agreement

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s defense ministry and Saudi General Authority for Military Industries signed an agreement with Spain’s Navantia company to acquire and build a number of multi-mission combat ships for the Royal Saudi Naval Forces, the Saudi Press Agency reported on Thursday.

The Kingdom’s Defense Minister Prince Khaled bin Salman and Spain’s Minister of Industry, Commerce, and Tourism María Reyes Maroto attended the agreement’s signing ceremony.

Prince Khaled said on Twitter that this agreement falls within Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to strengthen the capabilities of the Saudi defense ministry.

“This MOU represents the latest effort to fulfill the vision of HRH the Crown Prince and Prime Minister to localize our military industry and empower and strengthen the capabilities of the ministry of defense, which will help provide security for our country and region,” he said.

The agreement aims to raise the level of readiness of the Royal Saudi Naval Forces to enhance maritime security in the region, protect the Kingdom’s vital and strategic interests, and support defense ministry’s  operational and tactical goals.

According to the agreement, Navantia will localize up to 100% of naval shipbuilding, integration of combat systems, and ship maintenance, in line with Saudi Vision 2030 objectives.

It also focuses on integrating combat systems into new ships, engineering and designing systems and hardware, and developing software.

Testing, systems verification, prototyping, simulation, as well as logistical support and training program design will also be within the scope of the agreement.


KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs
Updated 01 December 2022

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

KSRelief chief meets UN assistant secretary-general for humanitarian affairs

RIYADH: Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, the adviser at the Saudi Royal Court and general supervisor of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, on Wednesday met with UN Assistant Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Joyce Msuya, in the capital, Riyadh, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

During the meeting, they discussed a number of issues of common interest related to relief and humanitarian affairs.

Msuya praised the Kingdom’s effective and influential international humanitarian role, noting the efforts of KSrelief in alleviating the suffering of refugees and needy groups around the world.