KAUST of investing
In the past, Skild has been a competition management system for KAUST and has watched the KAUST Seed Fund be a huge success. Based in Saudi Arabia, the KAUST Seed Fund looks to invest in technology-based startups. Manager of the KAUST Seed Fund, Nicola Bettio said of the project,
This approach is quite novel in academic institutions and is the first of its kind in Saudi Arabia. We need to support the growth of our startups beyond simple seed funding, encourage international technology-based early stage companies to move to Saudi Arabia and attract local investors and international venture capitalist to the Kingdom’s relatively young innovation ecosystem.
On the way to get the witchweed
KAUST doesn’t only use the competition management software for the Seed Fund, but they have many other innovative projects going on that require a competition platform. One in particular, is researching how to rid Sub-Saharan African countries of the parasitic weed called, witchweed. This weed has had a deadly effect on the crops in Sub-Saharan Africa and absorbs water and nutrients that other plants need. Now, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has funded this research at KAUST with $1.5 million!
With KAUST’s research, Dr. Salim Al-Babili said, “This project aims to provide lifesaving Striga control methods to enhance food security in the region and potentially in other parts of the world.” They want to reduce the infested soils so that crops can flourish with very little effort. Head of Middle East Relations, Hassan Al-Damluji stated on the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation funding that,
Our generation faces an unprecedented global challenge of feeding 9 billion by 2050 and we see Africa’s farmers as one of the key solutions to this problem. But when seven out of ten people living in sub-Saharan Africa are farmers, it’s clear that they will require more support to address issues like Striga infestations in order to not only increase productivity, but grow more nutritious food for their families and communities. Investing in Africa’s farmers requires strong global partnerships, and this is why we are very pleased to collaborate with KAUST, an institution ranking among the world’s leading universities in the fields of agricultural and biological science. Through this partnership, we look forward to supporting Striga-prone areas of sub-Saharan Africa and enabling Africa to be able to feed itself – and help feed the world – within a generation.
One of many
Skild is a competition management company that creates competition software in order to assist those looking to make innovative strides with technology and ultimately the world. KAUST is just one of many organizations that Skild has helped – and there are a lot more to come.