Desertification is considered among the greatest environmental disasters facing humanity in the twenty-first century: with rising global temperatures due to the greenhouse effect along with negative agricultural and environmental activities, vast areas of arable land are threatened with devastation, destroying with it the possibility of feeding hundreds of millions. This danger increases drastically in countries with previous histories of drought and lack of rain, such as those countries in the Arab world, where 90% of the land is desert and dry valleys, and the very little remaining land subject to constant desert crawl. For that reason, a number of modern technological solutions and innovations may have a fundamental role in protecting the future of the region and its people agriculturally and nutritionally. Desert Control, a start-up in this field, has developed “Nanoclay” which can turn desert soil into fertile farmland in a matter of hours.
Anis resigned in 2014 as a professor at the Sorbonne, Paris – a position at one of the oldest, most prestigious universities in France – in order to be free and establish his own private robotics company. It was a highly criticized move, with family and friends describing it as “hasty” and “insane”. He was determined, however, to be free and develop his passion in developing and constructing humanoid robotics or androids. Anis lost six full months in completing the official procedures to register his company, but none of this stood in the way of his dream.
Walid Midani – a young Tunisian video game enthusiast – had no budget when launching his start-up with a group of his colleagues around 10 years ago. His father agreed to support their “company” by giving them free office space to work in and started earning an extremely modest income of 5 DT (equivalent to two dollars at that time) in order to buy some food and drink to sustain themselves night and day to making video games. Two whole years passed in this manner until DigitalMania Studio released its first game, a major failure commercially and financially. While a disappointing experience, it did not deter Walid and his friends from continuing to work and achieve their passion for bringing Tunisian video games to the world market.
In 2011, three Egyptian and one French youth were let go from their positions because of the closing of the renewable energy division in their previous company. These four shared a personal passion for renewable, clean energy, a matter the only received limited interest in their country despite its vast horizons and huge opportunities. They decided to invest in the field with their own private funds, and the start-up earned its first project in a matter of months, but soon took a new and different direction from the rest of the Arab renewable energy experience.
Every five years, a number of researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology would perform a geometric scan of the university campus, when the idea occurred to them: “is it not possible to perform this task faster through the use of drones?” Within a few months, the founders gained two patents for photography device control systems and a method to automatically transform the images to data. From there start-up FalconViz was born, and it now works with the biggest institutions to provide air scanning services for urban, industrial, and heritage areas within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which helps preserve the kingdom’s heritage and culture in addition to developing a cutting-edge sector.
Floods are the most commonly occurring natural disaster in the world, impacting hundreds of millions and causing extreme financial losses every year. The Arab world is equally impacted, as in the year 2014 when floods of Jeddah and the Holy City of Mecca suffered economic losses estimated at more than 100 million USD. In response to these catastrophes and their destructive effects, a group of students and researchers at KAUST developed an early warning system for floods, and turned the project into a start-up that is active regionally and globally as “Sadeem Technology”.
ENOC Group, EmTech MENA 2019 Gold Partner, unveiled its two new digital ventures – ENOC Link and Beema – under its recently launched accelerator programme, NEXT, designed to unlock growth opportunities through disruptive innovation and strategic partnerships.
ENOC Group, EmTech MENA 2019 Gold Partner, announced today the launch of a new accelerator programme called NEXT targeted at the energy sector to unlock growth opportunities through building B2B and consumer digital ventures.
NEXT underpins the Group’s commitment to contributing to the UAE’s future agenda and Dubai’s vision to be a global platform for knowledge-based, sustainable and innovation-focused businesses.
This article was written by Abdelkader Nasreddine Belkacem, one of the IU35 MENA Winners in 2018.
Last September 2018, I have been selected as one of the 10 MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 in MENA region. Therefore, it was a great opportunity for me to attend EmTech conference at Dubai city. That was the best experience I have ever had. I met many outstanding thinkers, leaders, businessmen, and scientists over the globe. We have discussed and shared many crazy ideas and perspectives that are going to change the world in the upcoming years. My talk was entitled: Can we take multitasking to the next level using brain-machine interface?Read more… “Innovators Under 35: Can we take multitasking to the next level using brain-machine interface?”
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution continues to transform every sector of our daily lives, the oil and gas industry is setting itself up to embrace those changes. As such, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), in collaboration with IBM, created a blockchain-based production quantities accounting system in its value chain.Read more… “How ADNOC upgraded to Blockchain and AI Systems”