KAUST spins-in five top startups to bring new tech to Saudi Arabia

Dr. Kevin Cullen, Vice President of KAUST Innovation

King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) has wrapped up ‘Destination Deep Tech,’ a Saudi-first program that spins in top global startups to the Kingdom to develop deep tech innovations. The startups – CeEntekHopuInsignes-LabsPasqal, and Proteinea – will experience the three-month program due to their tech expansion into the MENA region.

How KAUST leveraging the services of the startups?

“KAUST is the Deep Tech Heart of the Saudi Economy, and so we are delighted to welcome these talented startups to KAUST and the Kingdom as part of Destination Deep Tech,” said Dr. Kevin Cullen, VP of KAUST Innovation. Pasqal, from France, is a European Quantum Computing startup that provides a full-stack solution from hardware to applications.

Their goal is to bring the quantum advantage faster to end-users. Pasqal has recently signed an MoU with Aramco and is currently looking to establish a commercial presence in the region. Whereas Insignes-Labs, from Poland, develops antimicrobial additives to protect a wide range of materials from microorganisms such as bacteria, algae, fungi and molds.

The firm is running a pilot program with KAUST startup Red Sea Farms while applying for a KAUST Technology Transfer Impact Acceleration Fund to collaborate with the University and bring the product to market. Proteinia, from Egypt, is a platform tech that harnesses AI, deep learning models and biological automation for protein design and production.

By fast-tracking the commercialization of key optimized protein products, Proteinia aims to serve the areas of human health, aquaculture industries, and sustainable food technologies.

How valid was sustainability on selecting the winners?

CeEntek, from Singapore, delivers Ultra-High Performance Concrete for increased sustainability and efficiency of construction projects. Their innovative manufacturing process allows for UHPC 2.0™ concrete solutions in a wide range of markets and applications.

Hopu, from Spain, provides AI-based IoT devices and sensors for Industry 4.0 and Smart Cities, covering air quality monitoring, noise, energy metering and more. The firm is deploying its air quality sensors in the KAUST network through a collaboration with KAUST Smart and KAUST academics. The Next Web (TNW) is the team behind Destination Deep Tech.

The Next Web (TNW) helps corporations and governments to innovate together with the startup ecosystem and ensured that top talent was recruited for the program.