KAUST BioTech Spinout WAYAKIT Partners With Saudi Ground Services

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) spinout WAYAKIT, a bio-tech company, has partnered with Saudi Ground Services (SGS) to provide sustainable cleaning solutions for the airline industry. The partnership will result in a significant reduction in hazardous and toxic materials used for hygiene maintenance. Working with SGS solidifies WAYAKIT’s commitment to developing effective, ecological products that aid in achieving the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 and the Saudi Green Initiative.

The airline industry has made the world a more connected place, and as a result, there is a heightened risk of spreading infectious diseases during travel. Cleaning crews must ensure the highest level of disinfection while also adhering to aviation safety and material compatibility standards. SGS cleaning crews are tasked with cleaning over 200,000 aircraft annually in Saudi Arabia. These crews are challenged to thoroughly and efficiently clean aircraft interiors within a narrow time frame of 9 to 12 minutes.

KAUST startup WAYAKIT specializes in hygiene-based products, offering an innovative and IP protected cleaning solution that uses naturally based ingredients to provide the fastest disinfectant and cleaner on the market. In just 30 seconds, WAYAKIT’s solution results in the highest level of disinfection against germs.

“We have seen WAYAKIT’s growth and we are proud of being the incubator of this impact-focused technology that now is revolutionizing airplane cleaning in Saudi Arabia – and hopefully soon the world,” said Kevin Cullen, special advisor to KAUST President Tony Chan. “The partnership between WAYAKIT and SGS demonstrates their commitment to reducing their environmental impact while providing innovative and effective solutions.”

By utilizing WAYAKIT’s biodegradable cleaner and disinfectant, SGS has successfully transitioned away from traditional quaternary ammonium-based products. This shift has resulted in a significant reduction in pollution, and SGS is now able to clean and disinfect 7.5 million square meters using non-hazardous components.

“We have proven that when SGS shifted towards a WAYAKIT solution, they not only increased their cleaning efficiency but also saved operational costs and decreased the exposure of crew and passengers to toxic chemicals,” said Dr. Luisa Javier, chief executive officer of WAYAKIT.  “WAYAKIT aims to provide natural-based cleaning products that really work and are safe and sustainable for our planet. We track the impact of our clients using the UN Sustainable Development Goals – and we are proud to partner with SGS to deliver sustainable impact.”

Use of WAYAKIT has enabled SGS to achieve the Silver category of WAYAKIT’s Environmental Circle Certification due to a reduction in environmental hazards. So far, they have been able to remove the equivalent of 37.4 tons of toxic materials out of the environment. The certification recognizes a commitment by SGS to implementing sustainable interior aircraft cleaning practices.

“At SGS, sustainability is a core value, and we strive to bring innovative solutions that improve our productivity and hygiene quality. Caring for passengers and staff is part of SGS’s integrity. Additionally, SGS has achieved cost efficiency and excellence in delivering service to our stakeholders.” said Read Al-Idrissi Chief Executive Officer at SGS.

WAYAKIT looks forward to exporting its technology globally to enhance hygiene in other environments such as hospitals, hotels, buses, trains, and schools – anywhere where crowds of people gather.

The KAUST spinout’s commitment to natural-based cleaning products complements SGS’s dedication to sustainable practices – with both companies reflecting the goals of Saudi Vision 2030 to promote a diversified and sustainable economy. The partnership reflects KAUST’s ongoing efforts in advancing a deep tech ecosystem by developing innovative products that are solving global challenges.