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New $125 tech fund; Nokia Bell Labs & Aramco sign R&D deal
Middle East AI News weekly digest...
Welcome to this week’s Middle East AI News! Apologies for the later than usual newsletter (which I blame on the flu!).
Another bumper news week for AI across the region! Last Sunday evening Dubai’s Crown Prince announced the emirate’s new Global Prompt Engineering Championship, which kicked off the week’s AI buzz. There have been several government announcements prioritising tech and AI, including the Khalifa Fund’s new financial products for UAE entrepreneurs. And then we have the new $125 million tech fund registered at DIFC by Raiven Capital.
Meanwhile, Saudi Aramco is ramping up its R&D efforts, announcing a deal with Nokia Bell Labs and sharing its plans to expand AI research teams. Much more news below (again, I ran out of space for this newsletter!)
If you’re a Middle East AI News LIVE listener, then FYI I’m going to skip today’s show to focus on my new early morning Friday weekly AI news roundup!
Thursday’s Middle East AI News LIVE will now become the THURSDAY DEEP DIVE, focused on one:one interviews (restarting Thursday Nov. 16th).
Tomorrow (Friday), I’ll be hosting Middle East AI News LIVE - THE WRAP on LinkedIn at 7am UAE time | 6am KSA | Thu 7pm PST!
This week, The Wrap will be co-hosted by Mohammad Arshad, co-founder of Decoding Data Science. We’re also expecting a guest appearance from Supreet Singh, general partner of Raiven Capital to talk about the new $125m tech fund!
And, click here to register for tomorrow’s Middle East AI News LIVE - THE WRAP!
Thanks for reading!
#Canada #USA #UAE #funds - Silicon Valley and Toronto-based Raiven Capital has launched a new $125 million venture capital fund in Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), to focus on early and growth-stage AI, Internet of Things and distributed ledger tech startups. The fund will focus on ventures in the GCC, South Asia, plus North and East Africa. (BusinessWire)
#UAE #funding - Abu Dhabi’s Khalifa Fund has launched seven new funding products designed to provide UAE National entrepreneurs and SMEs with medium-term interest-free loans. Entrepreneurs can apply via the Abu Dhabi Government Services platform, TAMM. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #GenAI - The Government of Dubai has launched a new Global Prompt Engineering Championship with a total of AED 1 million ($272,000) in prize money. The competition aims to attract some the brightest prompt engineers to Dubai and position the emirate as a destination for Generative AI talent. The championship will take place at the Museum of the Future during May 2024. (Dubai Media Office)
#Saudi #startups - Riyadh-based GAIA - the region's first generative AI accelerator - held its graduation ceremony for its first cohort of startups on Thursday. The startups presented AI solutions for education, healthcare, travel and drone monitoring. The programme is now open for applications for its next cohort. (Linkedin)
Presight Q3 profit rises 18%
#UAE #ADX - Presight, a unit of Abu Dhabi's G42 group focused on data analytics and AI, saw its third-quarter profit rise 18% on higher revenue, on rising demand for big data analytics across regional and international markets. (The National)
#Saudi #R&D - Nokia’s research arm, Nokia Bell Labs, and Saudi Arabia's national oil company Aramco, have agreed to collaborate on R&D, to develop advanced Industry 4.0 use cases. R&D goals are to accelerate digital transformation nationally, regionally and globally, for a diverse range of industries, including oil and gas, utilities, mining, manufacturing and logistics. (Global Newswire)
#Saudi #energy - Saudi Aramco is to expand its product research teams, according to Middle East Economic Digest (MEED). The oil giant currently has 30 research teams working on the development of new AI products. (MEED - subscription required)
#Qatar #AVs - Ministry of Transport plans to build infrastructure for Level 3 autonomous vehicles, to support simple automated functions like driving on highways. The plans are part of a 5 year government Autonomous Vehicles Strategy announced a few weeks ago. (Zawya)
#UAE #eVTOL - Dubai-based unmanned aircraft developer Eanan, has launched the first electric vertical take-off and landing aircraft (eVTOL) made in the UAE, aiming to become the first commercially operating air mobility company in the emirate. (GDN)
#UAE #cryptocurrency - Bybit, the world's third most visited crypto exchange, has successfully concluded its first Inter-College Hackathon. The CryptoAI BUILDER Challenge, which took place at the American University of Sharjah (AUS), saw a strong turnout of 86 teams. (Yahoo!)
#UAE #education - The National Experts Programme (NEP) has launched 13 reports written by its NEP 3.0 participants, focusing on AI and the importance of embracing its technologies to help address challenges and accelerate growth in the UAE’s key national sectors. Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) helped equip participants with AI knowledge. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #R&D - Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, part of the M42 network, and Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence (MBZUAI) have signed an MoU to advance research and education. The agreement includes joint research projects, establishing research groups, and developing mentorship programs for undergraduate and graduate students. (Zawya)
#UAE #cloudcomputing - Dubai Chamber's cloud computing business group, will host the Beyond Cloud Summit, on November 13th, in conjunction with the MENA Cloud Alliance. Sponsored by AWS, Kyndryl, Zoho and Schneider Electric, the event invites senior decision makers from SMBs and enterprises in Dubai. Register here.
Al Nassr club to use AI to improve performance
#Saudi #football - Luis Castro, manager of Al Nassr football club in Saudi Arabia is reportedly using an AI platform to help improve the side’s performance. AI will help provide and analyse information on players and competitors. (Essentially Sports)
#UAE #UAS - Abu Dhabi's EDGE Group has acquired a majority 52% Stake in autonomous air systems developer ANAVIA. The Swiss company designs and manufacturers unmanned helicopters for various military mission profiles. The move could see EDGE becoming a leader in unmanned helicopters. (EDGE)
#UAE #security - Ultra-secure communication solutions company KATIM, part of EDGE Group, has launched KATIM Connect, a new communications app for secure messaging, conferencing, and file sharing. Designed for both national security applications and sensitive personal conversations, KATIM Connect provides a robust, ultra-secure alternative to conventional messaging apps. (Emirates News Agency)
#UAE #security - Ondas Holdings Inc., a leading provider of private industrial wireless networks and commercial drone and automated data solutions, announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Airobotics, has received a $2.6 million order for immediate delivery of additional Optimus Systems from a local governmental entity in Dubai for public safety and emergency response operations. (Seeking Alpha)
#Egypt #UAVs - The Egyptian Ministry of Military Production (MoMP) is said to be in talks with France’s Safran Group to acquire the Patroller tactical UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle), according to Tactical Report. The long-endurance UAV is designed for intelligence, surveillance and targeting missions (Tactical Report - subscription required)
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