Umm Al-Qura University

Umm Al-Qura University

Deputy Emir of Makkah Inaugurates (Growth Incubator) to Support Entrepreneurs and Innovators

HRH, Prince Abdullah Bin Bandar bin Abdulaziz, the Deputy Emir of Makkah Region, inaugurated the "Growth Incubator" during his visit today to Wadi Makkah Technology at the UQU campus in Al-Abideyah. During the visit, he was briefed on the models of the summer training program for modeling paths, entrepreneurship, and design and programming, which included applications on smart devices, sensor models, electronic circuits, professional designs and marketing campaigns for start-up companies in Wadi Makkah. The visit took place in the presence of UQU President and Chairperson of  Wadi Makkah, Dr. Bakri Bin Matouq Assas; the Secretary of the Holy City, Engineer Mohammed bin Abdullah Alqoihs;  Advisor to the Prince of Makkah, the supervisor of the agency of the Emirate, Development Assistant and the Secretary-General of Makkah Development Authority, Dr. Hisham bin Abdulrahman Al-Faleh, in addition to university Vice-Deans and several officials.

On the arrival of the Deputy Emir to the hall prepared for the celebration with Wadi Makkah, the Saudi Anthem was played. The celebration was then started with recitations of some verses from the Holy Qur’an. Afterward, Dr. Assass delivered a speech where he welcomed the prince and the attendees.

He pointed out and praised the support UQU receives from the country's wise leadership, including the attention it gives to the academic and research programs offered by the university, enabling it to play its role and be part of the transition towards a cognitive economy in all fields, through its main campus and all its branches in the region, including Jamoum, Al-Laith, Adham and Al-Qunfudhah. He also praised the keenness of the Prince to visit Wadi Makkah Technology Company and examine its products and start-ups which are in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision.

He explained that UQU is working in accordance with strategic plans and programs it prepared to create a promising generation of innovators and thinkers who can contribute to the country’s overall development. He highlighted the university’s care for scientific research, which is the core of patents, to turn research into products that serve individuals and the society as well as generate jobs.   

The CEO of Wadi Makkah Technology Company, Dr. Faisal bin Ahmed Alaf, gave a presentation on the company entitled "From a Moor to a Global Oasis for Creativity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship". In the presentation, Dr. Alaf explained the company's services in investing in the industry of technology transfer and development, in addition to establishing technology incubators and investing in them and in scientific research, as well as preparing university students to work in the private sector through training and qualifying them then providing them with proper jobs.

In his presentation, Dr. Alaf explained that Wadi Makkah was able to create 29 technical products and establish 15 start-up companies that managed to enter the labor market, providing 3,000 jobs for young men and women nationally. He estimated the volume of start-ups to be 50 million Saudi Riyals, while the sales of these companies reached 45 million Riyals. The plan of Wadi Makkah aims to increase the number of start-up companies to 45. It also aims to provide training, advisory, legal, administrative and technical programs, as well as financial support to these companies, in addition to constructing initial prototypes within the modeling and manufacturing laboratory.

Afterward, he looked at Wadi Makkah’s general plan and listened to an explanation of it by Dr. Wadea Barqawi, the CEO of Tilal Al-Namaa, an affiliate of Wadi Makkah. Dr. Barqawi explained that the general plan of Wadi Makkah is an embodiment of the company’s vision to become a business incubator and a platform for start-ups. The project is located in the eastern part of the UQU campus in Al-Abideyah. It is connected to public transportation through a metro station planned to be implemented. He also pointed out that the project includes incubators and business accelerators, in addition to a trade line that includes Wadi Makkah Hotel, an administrative center, international companies’ centers, and an area for residence and social activities.

Afterward, he cut the "Growth Incubator" tape to officially mark the inauguration of its work. He then looked at samples of the work of the summer training students. This was followed by a visit to the electronic sensors laboratory which contains a number of modern equipment in the field of designing prototypes for innovative products, and manufacturing sensors and precise electronic circuits operated by a group of Saudi young people. He also learned about the start-ups in Wadi Makkah whose work involves using images and their analysis for the services of crowd management and collection of social media data, to analyze them using artificial intelligence techniques. This process aims to produce marketing reports and advanced electronic devices to support the Internet of Things applications and transport and tracking services. Moreover, it supports the manufacturing of medical equipment to analyze bacteria automatically using the technologies of the laser, in addition, artificial intelligence and deep understanding technologies to produce traffic safety technologies.

Near the end of the visit, the Prince received a Souvenir from Dr. Assass, which was a group of Wadi Makkah’s products.