King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is a partner with LEAP, a conference bringing the global technology community under one roof to tackle some of the globe’s biggest technology challenges. The conference, whose theme this year is “One Eye on the Stars,” will take place February 1- 3, 2022 in Riyadh. LEAP is set to attract international investment into the Kingdom, accelerating digital transformation by developing and adopting the latest technologies and solutions.
Targeting an attendance of 40,000 international visitors from 80 countries, LEAP will serve as a landmark technology event of national importance and a global platform for the entire innovation ecosystem. LEAP aims to connect pioneers and disruptors with business and government leaders, investors and more to solve mankind’s most pressing challenges through emerging technologies. The conference will address major sectors such as health, finance, energy, education, smart cities and more. KAUST has partnered with LEAP as the sponsor of the exclusive startup competition: “Rocket Fuel.”
KAUST joins a world-class panel of judges comprised of seasoned investors who will help decide which of the hundreds of hopeful entrepreneurs deserve up to $1 million in cash prizes. KAUST will also award the best innovators and most promising business ideas to join in their newest cohorts. In this manner, KAUST and LEAP share mutual objectives to attract deep tech startups into Saudi Arabia, signaling the Kingdom as a hub for technology and innovation. KAUST is also participating with Ericsson in a panel discussion entitled “5G: paving the way for Industry” by KAUST Professor Dr. Mohamed Slim Alouni.
Being a sponsor at LEAP, particularly with KAUST’s track record of developing successful startups, allows the University to continue their mission of driving new technologies to market. This is evidenced by the many founders participating as more than 15 of the exhibiting startups are KAUST-grown. These include:
- Cura, a platform that connects patients with doctors, enabling patients to receive healthcare on-demand virtually without waiting for an appointment at a hospital or clinic.
- Polymeron, a startup that reduces the need for single-use plastic, by manufacturing environmentally friendly, 100% biodegradable polymeric materials, produced from organic agricultural waste.
- Logexa, providing an on-demand warehousing service platform with multiple geographic locations in Saudi Arabia.
- Themar, providers of a peer-to-peer, Shariah-compliant online financing marketplace that connects investors directly with small businesses and microenterprises in need of financing.
Kevin Cullen, VP of KAUST Innovation adds “KAUST is excited to join a world-class conference that is focusing on attracting deep tech startups and engaging with powerful international speakers discussing solutions to the world most pressing challenges.”
KAUST’s ongoing strategic initiatives of solving the sustainability issues of energy, water, food, climate and health, places the university in a prime position to contribute at LEAP. The conference will address future energy technologies to enhance the region’s leadership in oil and gas – as well as solutions for healthcare and food and water security in the region.
KAUST’s presence at LEAP will allow a global audience to engage with the university and learn more about their world-class entrepreneurship programs and funding support. With their cutting-edge technologies and solutions, KAUST leads the way through academic research in the mission to diversify the KSA economy and successfully achieve the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.