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Milagrow opens in Middle East; Magic Leap and Aramco to create innovation centre
Here’s this week's roundup of Middle East AI News!
March was an exciting month for technology in the region and when I tried to summarise all the new initiatives and developments for The AI Journal, I found it simply impossible to include everything in one article!
This week, provided a busy end to an encouragingly busy month. Today, you'll find news on funding, R&D, robotics, AI voice, the environment and partnerships galore!
In a statement yesterday, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai confirmed industries driven by AI and advanced technology will drive UAE’s future sustainable growth, and form the focus of 'Operation 300bn'.
Meanwhile, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman announced 'Shareek', a new SR 12 trillion ($3.2 trillion) programme on Tuesday to boost the role of the private sector in diversifying the economy. It's hard to imagine that emerging technologies and 4IR ventures won't be a target for this investment.
Scroll down for more. You'll also find details of next week's Fueling The Future WIRED virtual summit at the end of this newsletter.
Stay safe and have a great weekend!
#Egypt #funding - AI-powered sales and supply-chain platform Weelo has raised a six-figure seed funding round. The platform manages the sales cycle for micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises from warehouse to cash collection through advanced analytics and a real-time management system. (Daily News Egypt)
#Saudi #startups - The Saudi project Genomez, winner of the third place in the ideas track in the fifth edition of MITEF Saudi Startup Competition was among the 6 winners of the 14th edition of MIT Enterprise Forum Arab Startup Competition (Saudi Gazette)
UAE 'Operation 300bn'
#UAE #Operation300bn - His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, confirmed in a statement yesterday that industries of the future - those driven by AI and advanced technology - are central to the UAE government’s efforts to secure sustainable long-term economic growth. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #R&D - Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) has signed a strategic agreement with the Technology Innovation Institute (TII), to collaborate on the advancement of AI initiatives and strengthening the AI ecosystem in the UAE and overseas. (ITP)
#Saudi #USA - Magic Leap, a US augmented reality startup backed by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund, is negotiating with oil giant Saudi Aramco to open a first-of-its-kind computing innovation centre in the Kingdom, according to CEO Peggy Johnson. (Arab News)
#Saudi #Hajj - Dr. Anis Koubaa, director of the robotics and Internet of Things lab at Prince Sultan University was awarded a prize in the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Challenge. He developed an AI solution to automatically check vehicles an so decrease congestion during Hajj. (Arab News)
#India #UAE #robotics - India's number one domestic #robotics company Milagrow Robots, is expanding into the Middle East with the opening of its new office in Dubai Airport Freezone Authority (DAFZA). (Gulf News)
#UAE #GoogleAssistant - Google's AI-powered voice assistant platform is to provide mental health and emotional support for Arabic speakers. The Arabic language Google Assistant service has been developed by Google MENA in partnership with Dubai-based healthtech startup Safe Space. (The National)
National AI Strategy
#UAE #AICodeHub - The National Programme for Artificial Intelligence announced that Dubai Municipality and the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) have joined the AI software platform "AI Code Hub". The initiative aims to share knowledge, technological expertise and open-source software. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #aviation - Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has signed an MoU with Emirates Airline to develop innovative solutions and enhance the future-readiness of the UAE’s aviation sector. Emirates hopes that DFF's R&D resources will help the organisation deploy AI and robotics in several fields. (Khaleej Times)
#UAE #digitalenergy - Technology firm Injazat, a Group 42 company, and energy services firm Lamprell have announced a joint venture to develop digital solutions for the renewable energy sector as well as oil & gas industries. The JV launches with initial funding of $7m split equally between the partners. (Gulf Business)
#Saudi #logistics - King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) Tuesday announced their collaboration with Tabadul, Saudi Arabia’s leading digital logistics services provider, to undertake research and innovation projects, including hackathons and bootcamps. (Saudi Gazette)
#Saudi #UAE #Cloud - KPMG and Oracle have announced an agreement to accelerate the adoption of cloud-based emerging technologies in Saudi Arabia. Meanwhile, Oracle is planning to create a second Cloud Region in Saudi Arabia (the first is in Jeddah) and second one in UAE (the first is in Dubai). (Trade Arabia)
#China #UAE - Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Saturday lauded the ties between China and the UAE featuring mutual trust, pioneering cooperation and solid friendship. The countries continue to explore cooperation in fighting the COVID-19, vaccines, energy, trade, investment, infrastructure, and high technologies including 5G, big data, and artificial intelligence. (China Daily)
#Qatar #marineenvironment - Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar's (CMU-Q) Gianni Di Caro, is using AI and a fleet of autonomous marine robots to better explore the marine environment around Qatar. Di Caro, who is leading a team of researchers, is an associate teaching professor at CMU-Q, a Qatar Foundation partner university. (Gulf Times)
#UAE #WIREDSummit - On Wednesday April 7, WIRED and Bee’ah will host Fueling The Future, a half-day virtual summit gathering thinkers, innovators, and business leaders to explore how AI will impact the economy and society of the Middle East and beyond. Register for free here. (WIRED ME)