Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia Launch Innovation Hub in Riyadh

ASTANA — A new Kazakh-Saudi innovation hub, named after the great medieval scholar and outstanding Islamic philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi, who was born on the territory of modern Kazakhstan, opened on March 5 in Riyadh, reported the press service of the Kazakh Ministry of Digital Development, Innovations and Aerospace Industry.

Al-Farabi Innovation Hub. Photo credit: gov.kz

The Al-Farabi Innovation Hub will be a major expansion to bolster the global outreach of regional IT solutions and startups. It aims to attract talented entrepreneurs and innovative startups from Kazakhstan to Saudi Arabia, facilitating their relocation and regional growth.

The hub will provide seed investments from the Tumar Venture Fund, as well as incubation and acceleration programs, valuable industry knowledge, and networking opportunities.

Minister Bagdat Mussin highlighted Kazakhstan’s expertise in nurturing startup growth, citing the establishment of Astana Hub, one of Central Asia’s premier technoparks, five years ago.

“We have also engaged global partners such as Google, Draper University, StartX, Microsoft and the World Bank, providing access to the best cutting-edge solutions,” he said, underscoring the hub’s potential to enhance bilateral ties and drive economic progress.

The Target Key Performance Indicators set for the next five years include the growth of at least three unicorn startups, the attraction of at least $300 million to startups, and the export of over $1 billion in services.

According to Al-Farabi Innovation Hub General Director Aslan Sultanov, the hub will complement Kazakhstan’s venture industry infrastructure, providing startups from Central Asia and the Caucasus with access to the Middle East and North Africa market, comprising nearly 493 million people.

Two days ago, Kazakhstan launched the Qaz Steppe Innovation Hub of promising startups in Dubai. The Silkroad Innovation Hub, opened last year in Palo Alto, California, supports startups and entrepreneurs from Central Eurasia in expanding their businesses into Silicon Valley and the broader American market.

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