Seventh Investing in Technology Forum Attracts 175 Participants

Published May 2nd, 2010 - 09:42 GMT

Dubai Silicon Oasis, the region's leading integrated free zone technology park, and the Arab Science and Technology Foundation, an independent science, technology and innovation organisation today announced the agenda, speakers and main topics of discussion for the seventh Investing in Technology Forum.

Organized under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman and CEO of Emirates Airline and Group, and Chairman of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority (DSOA), the event will be held from 11-13 May at Le Royal Méridien Beach Resort in Dubai.

Themed ‘Establishing a Regional Integrated System for Innovation’, the forum will host more than 175 businesses and investors, delegates from major technology companies and emerging businesses, as well as representatives of venture capital funds. Participants will use the platform to present their achievements and explore investment opportunities for angel investors and venture capitalists.

The first day of the event will be earmarked for networking, while the second to panel discussions and the final day for workshops.

Among the three panel discussions on the second day, the session on the ‘role of governments, NGOs and the academia in developing the regional ecosystem’ will be led by a panel that will include Ray Milhem, Chief Technology Officer, DSOA, Nizar Cheniour, Director, Entrepreneurship Development, Khalifa Fund, UAE, Omar Hamarneh, CEO, El Hassan Science City, Jordan, Dr. Abdelhakim Hammach, Senior Advisor, Investment, Riyadh Techno Valley, Saudi Arabia, Simon Edward, CEO, Mowgli Foundation, UK, and Robert Ayan, Managing Director, Cambridge Advisors, US.

The second panel on the role of  ‘Multinational corporation as a driver for regional innovation’ will be addressed by speakers including Jihad (Jay) Srage, Vice President, Business Development, Qualcomm, UAE, Rich Goldman, Vice-President, Corporate Marketing and Strategic Alliances, Synopses, US, Husni Khuffash, Country Business Manager, Google, UAE, Dr. John Waclawsky, ex-Chief Architect, Motorola Inc., US, Sami Issa, Executive Director, ATIC, UAE, and Samer Al Kharrat, Managing Director, Gulf and Pakistan Region, Cisco Systems, UAE.

 ‘Venture capital and business angels: activities and trends’ will be the focus of the third panel and include speakers such as Mohammed Alzubi, Director, Business Development and Investment, DSO, Dr. Ussam Fayyad, Chairman, Oasis 500, Jordan, Feroz Sanaulla, Regional Director, Middle East, Turkey and Africa, Intel Capital UAE, Ahmed Gomma, CEO, Technology Development Fund, Egypt, Ghazi Ben Othman, General Partner, MINAH Ventures, Tunisia, and Barig Siraj, President of ICT Ventures, Saudi Arabia.

Dr. Mohammed Al Zarouni, Vice-President and CEO of Dubai Silicon Oasis Authority, said: "The seventh edition of the Investing in Technology forum will underline the key issues relevant to the regional technology sector. It will aim to shed light on entrepreneurship in technology; an important area that needs to be strengthened through strong ideas that stimulate the spirit of innovation and initiative among the Arab youth.

“We believe the forum will inspire the technology-savvy youngsters to explore their capabilities to contribute towards development of the sector.”

Dr. Abdalla A. Al Najjar, President of Arab Science and Technology Foundation, said: "Arab countries should contribute to entrepreneurial development by knowledge creation that stems from innovation which is born out of necessity and translates into viable economic investment.  The seventh Investing in Technology Forum aims to establish an integrated regional system for innovation, based on scientific research, technological innovation and creative ideas that can be converted into promising technology for the small and medium sectors. This will pave way for supporting society and helping to develop a knowledge economy in the Arab world.

“More than 175 investors, businessmen and delegates from major technology companies will participate in the forum in addition to representatives of venture capital funds, angel investors and venture capitalists. Participants will gather from different regions including North America, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Arab world for this comprehensive forum that not only covers communications and information technology but extends to different areas and activities within the wider scope of technology.”

Dr. Wissam Al Rabadi, Supervisor of the seventh Investing in Technology Forum and Director of the Arab Foundation for Science and Technology Office in Jordan, said: “The event will also host special sessions that will showcase some of the successful entrepreneurial ventures in technology such as Tarek Elesseily, General Manager, Silicon Vision, Egypt, Dr. Issa Batarseh, co-founder, Petra Solar, US, Ahmed Zahran Founder and CEO of Infinitec, UAE, Zaid Ayoub, CEO, New Energy Co., Jordan, and Rashid M. Al-Ballaa, CEO, National Net Ventures (N2V), Saudi Arabia. Moreover, two workshops on ‘Building High-tech Economies’ and ‘Starting business in the Electronic Design Industry’ will also be part of the event.”

Rich Goldman, Vice President Synopsys, CEO Synopsys Armenia said: “The ASTF Forum brings together Arab scientists, entrepreneurs, VC firms and investors from across the region and worldwide. Synopsys, a key participant at the show, also brings to the forum its successful experiences in contributing to the development of knowledge based economies from around the world. Partnerships and collaborations bringing together Government-Business-Academia for the building of knowledge-based societies in countries, such as UAE, Saudi Arabia, India, and Russia will be presented. Synopsys’ innovative approaches in the preparation of industry-ready graduates in the microelectronics area to support the development of the high-tech economy in Armenia and in the region will be shared as a unique case study”.

Sponsors of the seventh Investing in Technology Forum include the Islamic Bank for Development, Advanced Technology Investment Company, Synopsys, Mentor Graphics, Qualcomm, and the Khalifa Fund that supports and develops small and medium enterprises.

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