Saudi Arabia to host LEAP, the global technology platform, to address challenges facing humanity
Saudi Arabia will host LEAP, the global technology platform, next February from 1 to 3, with the participation of more than 350 speakers from 80 countries and 700 innovators and start-ups from around the world. This technology platform is organized by the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, and contributes at boosting the Kingdom’s technology position and its digital regional and global leadership.
The organization of this conference comes in light of the generous auspices and unlimited support enjoyed by the telecommunications, information technology, space, research and innovation sectors from HRH Prince Muhammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs - may God save him. This shows the keenness of his HRH to keep pace with the rapid developments and changes in the world in order to achieve the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 in the promising sectors and future technologies.
LEAP will put the spotlight on several major topics; such as healthcare technologies to improve the quality of life and increase life expectancy, empowering humans through robots and technologies that enhance food and water security in the region. In addition, LEAP will review the most prominent technologies in the education sector and discuss the creative economy and reveal technologies that enhance happiness and well-being of communities.
Through its keynotes and panels, LEAP will address future energy technologies that will enhance the region’s leadership in oil and gas sectors and the impact of technology on the development of energy sources. Furthermore, other essential topics will be discussed, including financial technologies, the fourth industrial revolution, smart cities and how to build future cities by drawing on lessons learned from international experiences.
Organizing LEAP highlights the Kingdom’s unwavering endeavor to enhance its leadership in the region and the world as a regional digital hub, thus consolidating its position as the heart of the Arab and Islamic worlds in terms of innovation, and as a hub for digitally connecting the three continents (Asia, Africa and Europe), supporting its determination to be among the most advanced countries in innovation and future economy.
LEAP’s theme is "One Eye on the Stars", and is organized by MCIT with the co-operation of the Saudi Federation for Cyber Security, Programming and Drones. It seeks to discuss the most prominent social and cultural challenges facing the world through modern technologies. Such technologies have the potential to reshape the way people live in the world and find appropriate and innovative solutions for them. The platform targets the attendance of 40,000 local and international visitors.
On this occasion, H.E Haitham Al-Ohali, Vice Minister of Communications and Information Technology, stressed that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is living in an accelerating technological era in which it seeks to enable digital pillars to build a connected present and an innovative future, indicating that the ambitious Saudi Vision 2030 was and still is a roadmap and a compass that points to the future, adding that this comes under the leadership of H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
His Excellency indicated that LEAP would review the enormous technology capabilities that the Kingdom has and will be a bridge between entrepreneurs and innovators on one hand and IT professionals, investors and entities working in the public and private sectors on the other. Al-Ohali pointed out that the expected results of holding LEAP will be significant and supportive of the Ministry's strategic directions that seek to make the Kingdom a global technology hub and a headquarters destination for major companies operating in the sector.
Mr. Faisal bin Saud Al-Khamisi, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity, Programming and Drones, said: “We are proud of our partnership with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to launch LEAP, which represents a global bridge towards the future, and to achieve leadership in technology development and innovation under supervision of H.R.H. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
LEAP will be a gathering place for IT development pioneers. Al-Khamisi added that it will provide a platform to attract foreign investment into the Kingdom, attract international investments and accelerate digital transformation by developing and adopting the latest technologies and communications solutions, and transforming the Kingdom into a hub for technology and communications in the Middle East. He also said that LEAP will have the most important international and innovative technology companies, local and global investment funds, businesspeople in the technology markets and local and global innovators under one roof, in which they would have the opportunity to offer ideas, solve problems and move businesses ahead to the future.
On the sidelines of LEAP conference, the Rocket Fuel competition will be held between 90 technology start-ups to win funding prizes worth a total of USD $1 million. It will focus on creativity, innovation, potentials, jobs and impact on individuals and society.
LEAP will feature top speakers from around the world, including as Eugene Kaspersky, CEO and Co-Founder of Kaspersky; VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram; Techstar CEO Maëlle Gavet; Youngcho Chi, President and Chief Innovation Officer of Hyundai Motor Group, Magic Leap CEO, Peggy Johnson; Chief Web Advocate at World Wide Web Foundation, Nnenna Nwakanma; and Siim Sikkut Government Chief Information Officer (GCIO), Estonia. LEAP will also offer inspiring stories of influential people; such as Stephen Bartlett, the famous entrepreneur and youngest business leader to appear on BBC, as well as football legends Roberto Carlos and Luis Figo.