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KAUST brings five global deep tech startups to Saudi Arabia

The program chose firms based on their potential to contribute in food security, healthcare and against climate change.

[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

Startup funding deals in Saudi Arabia went up by more than 50% in 2021 compared to the previous year. As a global startup hub, the kingdom accounted for almost a quarter of the total funding in the Middle East and North Africa. It has a commission for small and medium enterprises that helps founders raise money from investors online.

Now, to attract best-in-class talent worldwide and boost deep tech innovations, the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) is supporting five global startups. The ventures chosen for KAUST’s three-month program include CeEntek, Hopu, Insignes- Labs, Pasqal, and Proteinea. The Destination Deep Tech initiative provides startups with access to KAUST’s research and development tools, where they can collaborate with academics from an office space in the university’s Research and Technology Park.

French firm Pasqal provides full-stack quantum computing services from hardware to applications. After a partnership with Aramco, it aims to establish a regional presence and is supported for extreme computer research by KAUST.

Poland’s Insigne-Labs can contribute to food security by protecting microorganisms such as algae and bacteria. The company developing antimicrobial additives also has a pilot project collaborating with Red Sea Farms.

Proteinea from Egypt uses AI and biological automation to design and produce protein products. Singapore’s CeEntek supports sustainable construction by creating Ultra-High Performance Concrete. Lastly, Hopu from Spain can contribute to smart cities with air quality monitoring and tech to measure noise energy.

With collaborations with international startups, Saudi Arabia wants to develop a deep tech startup ecosystem that addresses healthcare, climate change, and food security in the kingdom. Due to their highly advanced technology, these startups have already started to expand in the MENA region’s thriving market.

KAUST’s program is supported by The Nex Web, a firm that connects the global tech ecosystem. It used an international network to attract startups from across the globe to KAUST.

Also, read about these tech startups from the MENA region are getting noticed, here.

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