RIYADH: Business France recently launched its first business accelerator program here to help set up offices for 10 new companies and joint projects from the European nation.
The French Fab Booster launch event is being run in collaboration with the Kingdom’s National Industrial Development and Logistics Program, or NIDLP, and aims to contribute to the Vision 2020 economic plan.
The 10-day Fab Booster takes place Nov. 14 to 24 in Riyadh, Jubail and Dammam. The scale-up program features startup French sustainability and solutions companies including Armtek, Dametis, Oryx Data, SpareParts3D, Finalcad, Optimistik, Dillygence and Daxium. Divisions of Fives Group, the well-known industrial engineering firm, are also part of the initiative.
Ludovic Pouille, the French ambassador to Saudi, said during opening remarks at the launch: “After being selected by Top C-Levels Saudi Jury composed (of) industrialists, entrepreneurs, and investment funds, 10 startups have now embarked on the Saudi journey with the objective to contribute to the ‘Made in Saudi’ (plan) and to open an office in the Kingdom.”
Business France, the national agency supporting the international development of the European country’s economy, seeks to support Saudi Arabia’s industrial strategy, which aims to triple the contribution of manufacturing to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2030.
The French Fab accelerator will run over a nine-month period and include boot camps, business meetings with local partners, coaching, and market preparation sessions.
The initiative kicked off with the sustainability and Industry 4.0 Symposium, featuring keynote addresses from Pouille, Bandar AlKhorayef, the minister of industry and mineral resources, and Suliman Al-Mazroua, CEO of the NIDLP.
“Saudi Arabia and France have strong, and long-lasting ties, the history of collaboration among the two nations provides solid ground to build highly rewarding partnership(s) for many sectors in the Kingdom.
“We are looking forward to this first cohort of French Fab Booster in KSA, and I am positive the outcomes will support the Saudi Industrial Revolution in the light of the recently launched national industrial strategy,” Al-Mazroua said.
The accelerator program brings together high-profile French and Saudi industrialists in a series of information sessions highlighting success stories, sustainability, safety, efficiency, new technologies and industry trends.
With one of the fastest growing manufacturing sectors globally, Saudi Arabia has become a key market for international investors and industry leaders. The Kingdom recently made large investments in technology to strengthen the infrastructure of both the public and private sectors.
Fives, a French company specializing in creating optimization, efficiency, and production quality solutions, with over 200 years of experience and significant presence in the Middle East, highlighted the importance of business collaboration.
“It’s very exciting for a company like mine to say we can be part of these (ambitious roadmaps) … It’s our role now to show these technologies and how we can support this evolution of Saudi Arabia, and I hope we will expand our presence here,” Denis Mercier, deputy general director of Fives, told Arab News.
The company has developed innovative technologies and smart solutions dedicated to sorting, handling, and advanced automation for the retail, distribution, e-commerce, postal and courier, automotive, manufacturing, and airport markets. It has also ventured into metal 3-D printing production.
“The key (to our) success comes in the ecosystem we’ve built, which is a combination of structures, people, and the relationship established between them. These kinds of (accelerators) will enable this ecosystem to really bring and deliver solutions,” Mercier said.
Finalcad, a French construction project management software company specializing in infrastructure and energy projects, has also signed a partnership agreement with PETITDIDIERPRIOUX Architects, as part of their establishment in the Kingdom.
“Our goal here is to have a strong presence in the years to come through this partnership and really establish a core market here in Saudi Arabia … We have general companies for the office part of construction and platform software, but you have nothing for the construction itself. We equip the site engineers and teams to do the job (in) the field.
“The companies are (open) to embracing and modernizing quickly. There are a lot of projects and opportunities and the willingness to partner with other companies to go further,” David Vauthrin, head of design at Finalcad, told Arab News.
RIYADH: Boulevard Riyadh City, one of the entertainment zones of the third Riyadh Season, celebrated the 52nd Omani National Day on Nov. 18 with a range of activities.
The zone witnessed a spread of the colors of the Omani flag as people joined in a march to celebrate the country’s heritage and prosperity.
The square screens in Boulevard Riyadh City turned into a visual show celebrating the leaderships of both the Kingdom and Oman.
The fountain and the Boulevard lights were decorated with the colors of the Omani flag, confirming the importance of the occasion for the people of both countries.
Attendees in the zone celebrated the National Day of Oman with a large number of Omani visitors, many of whom have joined in other events hosted by Riyadh Season.
Celebrations continued in the background with patriotic songs and celebrations that aimed to deepen relations between the Saudi and Omani people.
Riyadh Season hosts activities for the national days of friendly and brotherly countries, which contributes to creating an atmosphere that consolidates relations among people, enforcing national values in the Kingdom and emphasizing Saudi appreciation and pride in relations with countries around the world.
There are various other events and experiences in the many zones of Riyadh Season, including concerts, local and international exhibitions, theatrical performances, Cirque du Soleil and WWE shows, fireworks spectacles and a football tournament.
There are also restaurants and cafes, lounges and a wide range of interactive activities suitable for people of all ages.
The third Riyadh Season contains 15 diverse entertainment zones and features the largest artificial lake in the world, cable car transportation, and sporting events such as the Riyadh Season Cup, which brings together the Paris Saint-Germain football team and stars from the Al-Hilal and Al-Nassr clubs.
RIYADH: The first RiseUp Saudi Arabia, an annual entrepreneurship summit, kicked off at King Abdullah Financial District in Riyadh on Saturday.
The three-day summit will attract over 10,000 participants, over 150 startups, 150 investors and 200 speakers from all over the world to share their global experiences as well as the latest developments in many fields to serve the startups and help them build foundations on which to base themselves.
The summit is supported by the National Technology Development Program of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, in a strategic partnership with the Saudi Federation For Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones.
The summit also includes some sectors specialized in entrepreneurship in Saudi Arabia, such as the Saudi Venture Investment Co.; the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority; the Garage, the Digital Cooperation Organization; the Ministry of Tourism, and the Angel Investors.
Princess Lolowah bint Yazeed, CEO of RiseUp Co. in Saudi Arabia, said: “The Kingdom witnessed a historic boom for the startups community, and the Kingdom has been and will remain the most prominent supporter of this sector, as it represents a prosperous future for the economies of the world.
“The impact of startups on the lives of the citizens of the Kingdom has become clear and tangible, as the efficiency of the daily life of citizens has been improved by relying on modern technology in managing all tasks.
“The continued growth of startups is by finding many sources and resources and abundant investments.”
RIYADH: A cooking event in Riyadh on Thursday featured the Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, and Finnish embassies promoting New Nordic cuisine and sparking gastro diplomacy through their own “MasterChef.”
Michael Jensen, the Danish deputy head of the mission, said: “The four Nordic countries of Denmark, Finland, Sweden, and Norway are trying to make a little gimmick out of doing a dish from each country that we will then give feedback to, and give participants an opportunity to try and cook.”
Six teams of two went head-to-head in the competition at the Radisson Blu Hotel in the Diplomatic Quarter.
The teams prepared one dish from each Nordic country, starting with a smoked salmon and cream cheese appetizer from Norway and a toast skagen from Sweden.
The contestants then had 15 minutes to create the remaining two courses, including the main dish from Finland called voileipakakku. The final course was a layer cake dessert from Denmark called lagkage.
Participants in each round were timed when gathering their ingredients and assembling the dish for the Nordic envoys to judge.
The embassy judges included the Ambassador of Sweden Petra Menander, the Finnish Ambassador Anu-Eerika Viljanen, the Norwegian Ambassador Thomas Lid Ball, and Jensen.
Menander told Arab News: “We are here for a bit of an experiment in the Nordic cooking contest, in which Saudis are creating something we know very well, and some dishes we don’t, and it is very interesting to see how the dishes are being interpreted.
“We have been laughing a lot and sort of challenging a lot and really had a lot of fun. It’s really good to come together and just enjoy each other’s company.”
The ambassadors discussed the importance of bringing people together in the community to highlight and share Nordic cuisine.
Lid Ball told Arab News: “I think this reaches a different audience than the people we often reach as ambassadors.
“It’s important to us to learn, to understand Saudi Arabia and the different parts of Saudi Arabia, and reach out to many people.”
Jensen said that the aim of the event was to present a glimpse into Nordic food.
New Nordic cuisine promotes cooking with local, seasonal, and natural ingredients that contribute to sustainability.
He said: “We have a lot of focus on sustainability in our countries, and using the ingredients that are close to where we are.
“Trying to limit the carbon footprint and using what is in season and what is in front of us, I think that is very much how traditional cooking in our countries used to be, given the harsh winters.”
Contestants received a list of ingredients and an image of the four dishes from each Nordic country, but not a step-by-step instruction on how to put the dish together.
Menander said: “It can be even better when you do things differently.
“The best toast skagen I have ever had was here, and it wasn’t the original recipe.”
A similar event took place in 2020, led by the Danish embassy in Riyadh.
Jensen said: “We are far away from the Nordic countries here, and there’s not a lot of Nordic restaurants.
“We’d like to present what we can do in the Nordic countries, which is very often quite healthy food.”
JEDDAH: The 69th Annual Convention of the National Association for Gifted Children is being held in Indiana, US, between Nov. 17-20, with the participation of more than 2,000 people.
During the opening ceremony, an introductory film about Mawhiba was presented, in the presence of the participating delegation led by Mawhiba Deputy Secretary-General for Gifted Services Basil Al-Sadhan, convention guests from the educational community and decision-makers interested in talent and creativity, as well as parents, teachers and researchers.
Mawhiba will take part in the event with members of the foundation in a pavilion throughout the conference to highlight Saudi Arabia’s role in caring for and empowering talent and innovation, as well as promoting communication with the educational community. The members will take part in a dialogue session that seeks to find solutions that contribute to improving the educational environment for gifted children and youth.
Mawhiba will take part in the event with members of the foundation in a pavilion throughout the conference to highlight Saudi Arabia’s role in caring for and empowering talent and innovation, as well as promoting communication with the educational community.
The members of the delegation — including Noura Al-Dawsari, Rawan Al-Qahtani, Bakr Madini and Abdulaziz Al-Qahtani — will review their local and international achievements, the Mawhiba enrichment programs they attended and the impacts on their academic achievement as well as life decisions, along with their ambitions for the future, challenges facing education for the gifted and the available solutions.
In a statement, the foundation said: “Sponsoring the event reflects Mawhiba’s international dimension as a global leader with the most comprehensive approach in discovering and sponsoring gifted people around the world, as well as sharing its experience and expertise in discovering and sponsoring talented, and creative individuals in the scientific areas of development priority.”
The foundation added that through sponsoring and taking part in the event, it aims to build a system for talent and innovation locally, regionally and internationally. The system is based on its vision represented by empowering talent and innovation, which is the foundation of prosperity.
DHAHRAN: Under the patronage of King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals President Mohammed Al-Saggaf, the Interdisciplinary Research Center for Finance and Digital Economy and the KFUPM Business School is hosting MENACIS 2022, the conference’s fifth edition.
Held from Nov. 16-19 under the theme “Socially Responsible Information Systems for Sustainable Societies,” the conference is providing a global platform for the presentation of innovative research in the field of information systems, aiming to promote a more sustainable future for all societies.
The conference welcomes scholars, practitioners and research students from various academic disciplines from up to 40 countries around the world. It discusses different topics that contribute to serving society, such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, fintech, digital transformation, information systems and more.
The conference program includes parallel sessions, keynote and author presentations, and social events with the effective participation of international scholars from the US, UK and France. It also includes an exhibition, workshops and other activities that aim to highlight the role of information systems in serving society.
The event comes within the framework of KFUPM’s strategic transformation and is aligned with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, which aims to propel the Saudi economy toward transformation into a diversified knowledge economy.


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